Culinology - March 2020 - 7

produce based on the amount of resources
you put in," he said. "We have a higher conversion efficiency of raw input into protein
than we've seen in any other natural system
out there."
Because the process eliminates a large
part of the supply chain, the final products
also are cheaper to produce.
"Our current cost of production on a small
scale is already competitive with industrialized meat," said Kimberlie Le, co-founder and
chief executive officer of Prime Roots. "We're
way more competitive than the majority of
plant-based proteins that are on the market."

Matching meat
Unlike most meat alternatives, which use
plant protein isolates to mimic the finely
minced texture of ground meat, mycelium's
long, branching fibers are well suited to approximate the texture of whole muscle.
"When we grow the koji, it comes out in a
texture that's really similar to chicken breast
fibers," Ms. Le said. "That allows us to make
whole muscle cuts like steak or chicken
breasts and a variety of other products. If
we're trying to imitate ground beef, we actually have to grind those fibers down so that
it's a smaller texture."
Fine-tuning the product to match different
types of meats is a matter of adjusting fat
ratios. A combination of nutrients added during cultivation and natural flavors added after
harvest helps create a convincing, meat-like
flavor.
"It's actually quite simple for
us compared to other companies in our space, because we
don't have any off flavors of soy
or pea or the traditional problems with plant-based alternatives," Ms. Le said. "For us, it's
more about layering on natural
flavors to really bring out the
umami and the meaty notes that
the koji naturally has."
Surpassing plants
Fungi-based meats may
provide an alternative to highly
processed plant-based products, which often lose some of
the nutrients naturally present
in plant foods. Both Emergy

Foods' and Prime Roots' products match or
exceed the protein level of traditional meat
while offering many of the fibers, vitamins and
minerals found in plants.
"It's really important to listen to consumers'
concerns about ultra-processed ingredients
and mitigate those challenges," Ms. Le said.
Educating consumers on the differences
between fungi-based and plant-based meats
for consumers may be a challenge. The Food
and Drug Administration currently classifies
mushrooms and other fungi as plants, though
technically they constitute their own kingdom
separate from both plants and animals.
Emergy Foods is focused on launching its
Meati brand steaks in the food service channel but has plans to debut a chicken breast
down the line. Long term, Mr. Huggins would
like to make fungi-based protein more accessible to large food manufacturers.
"They are desperate to find a plant-based
protein source that is high in protein, nutritious and has a bland or favorable flavor profile," he said. "Our No. 1 priority is to be able
to scale as fast as possible. Once we get to
the point where we have added supply, then
we can into other B2B markets."
Prime Roots has a dozen products ready
to be commercialized. The company is using
consumer feedback to determine which products will launch first.
"Having a diversity of products is going to
be really important," Ms. Le said. "I think that
is where we will be leading the charge."

MARCH 2020 | Culinolog y |

7



Culinology - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Culinology - March 2020

Culinology - March 2020
Contents
PRESIDENT’S letter - Beyond the Bench
EMERGING trends - Is fungi-based protein the future of fake meat?
EMERGING trends - New products at the Winter Fancy Food Show
FLAVOR trends - The key trends driving flavor innovation in 2020
MENU trends - Plant based gets real
MEMBER profile - Applying the Midas touch
MARKETING trends - Vegan claims on the upswing
INDUSTRYNEWS - Driving the Future of RCA
INDUSTRYNEWS - Stretching toward leadership and creating your own path
INDUSTRYNEWS - Fuel your inspiration at the RCA Conference
INDUSTRYNEWS - Finding culinary roots
PETITS fours - Emerging trends and innovations at Natural Products Expo East
PETITS fours - New name, new focus for Grocery Manufacturers Association
NEWS bites
AD index
Culinology - March 2020 - Culinology - March 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - Culinology - March 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - 2
Culinology - March 2020 - Contents
Culinology - March 2020 - PRESIDENT’S letter - Beyond the Bench
Culinology - March 2020 - 5
Culinology - March 2020 - EMERGING trends - Is fungi-based protein the future of fake meat?
Culinology - March 2020 - 7
Culinology - March 2020 - EMERGING trends - New products at the Winter Fancy Food Show
Culinology - March 2020 - 9
Culinology - March 2020 - FLAVOR trends - The key trends driving flavor innovation in 2020
Culinology - March 2020 - 11
Culinology - March 2020 - 12
Culinology - March 2020 - 13
Culinology - March 2020 - 14
Culinology - March 2020 - 15
Culinology - March 2020 - 16
Culinology - March 2020 - 17
Culinology - March 2020 - 18
Culinology - March 2020 - MENU trends - Plant based gets real
Culinology - March 2020 - 20
Culinology - March 2020 - 21
Culinology - March 2020 - 22
Culinology - March 2020 - 23
Culinology - March 2020 - 24
Culinology - March 2020 - 25
Culinology - March 2020 - MEMBER profile - Applying the Midas touch
Culinology - March 2020 - 27
Culinology - March 2020 - 28
Culinology - March 2020 - 29
Culinology - March 2020 - 30
Culinology - March 2020 - 31
Culinology - March 2020 - 32
Culinology - March 2020 - 33
Culinology - March 2020 - MARKETING trends - Vegan claims on the upswing
Culinology - March 2020 - 35
Culinology - March 2020 - 36
Culinology - March 2020 - 37
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Driving the Future of RCA
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Stretching toward leadership and creating your own path
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Fuel your inspiration at the RCA Conference
Culinology - March 2020 - INDUSTRYNEWS - Finding culinary roots
Culinology - March 2020 - 42
Culinology - March 2020 - 43
Culinology - March 2020 - PETITS fours - Emerging trends and innovations at Natural Products Expo East
Culinology - March 2020 - 45
Culinology - March 2020 - PETITS fours - New name, new focus for Grocery Manufacturers Association
Culinology - March 2020 - 47
Culinology - March 2020 - NEWS bites
Culinology - March 2020 - 49
Culinology - March 2020 - AD index
Culinology - March 2020 - 51
Culinology - March 2020 - 52
https://www.nxtbook.com/sosland/rca/culinology-june-2021
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