May 24, 2022 — Current supply chain issues in the food industry have given sustainable food technology company Hyfé Foods the impetus to expand its business of recovering wasted sugar water from food manufacturers. F&B as raw material to produce mycelium meal.
The company has developed a carbon-neutral method to produce affordable flour products that are high in protein, low in carbs and allergen-free.
Our inputs are wasted sugar water streams that are available locally, in all parts of the world where food is made. Because our technology enables local production of flour, we are immune to the supply chain issues we currently face with staple crops,” said Mark Ruiz, co-founder of Hyfé Foods. FoodIngredientsFirst.
“[The] The world is facing a massive food catastrophe with the rising cost of staple crops highlighting the need for decentralized and reliable production of nutritious food.
“Our flour production is unaffected by broader global supply chain issues. That’s why the founders feel the urgency and responsibility to scale the flour platform as quickly as possible to help ensure food safety,” says Ruiz.
Supply chain disruptions are on the rise
Nutrition and food companies are currently grappling with supply chain disruptions and inflation with food prices at a decade high. The price increases were felt by 94% of the 1,000 UK and US consumers who noticed their food shopping bills rose in the last quarter of 2021, according to a survey commissioned by Ingredient Communications and carried out by Survey Goo.
Food prices are rising globally, with some countries – such as the UK – recording the highest levels of inflation in 30 years. Consumers and small businesses are feeling extreme pressure as costs soar beyond their affordable incomes.
Hyfé Food’s use of recycled water raw materials reduces the water intensity of fermentation and diverts raw materials from wastewater treatment facilities that generate significant amounts of methane.
Ruiz explains, “Recycled sugar water benefits consumers because it provides a reliable and affordable source of nutritious food. This acts as a barrier to supply chain disruptions – in our case, for commodities like flour. »
“Food manufacturers typically pay extra to clean up their wasted sugar water, so by paying Hyfé a lower fee, manufacturers save money and Hyfé lowers the cost of food for the consumer,” he says.
Hyfé Foods has received an oversubscribed investment of US$2 million led by The Engine, a venture capital firm. Additionally, Hyfé received a grant from the Department of Energy through the Argonne National Labs Chain Reaction Innovations Accelerator. This funding will accelerate the company’s timeline for commercialization.
“Hyfé’s Mycelium Flour tastes and acts like wheat flour, allowing people to eat the foods they love without negative health effects. We are leveraging biotechnology to produce this carbon-neutral ingredient at scale and at very low cost,” says Michelle Ruiz, co-founder and CEO of Hyfé Foods.
“A bowl of Hyfé pasta has as much protein as a chicken breast, is high in fiber and contains no refined carbohydrates.”
The supply of essential food ingredients like grain has been decimated as major export routes across the Black Sea are largely closed due to war. Due to the sanctions, energy and fertilizer supplies needed to grow crops and maintain livestock in other areas are reduced.
Efforts to address food shortages
Enabling localized production of mycelium facilitates humanitarian efforts to address food shortages because industrial-scale growth of the protein is decoupled from agriculture, the company says. This, in turn, makes it possible to produce in remote or poor agricultural quality environments.
Hyfé’s Recycled Mycelium Meal requires no agriculture or fresh water to produce and there is the added benefit of processing requiring minimal space.
“We focus on the production of flour because it is a staple food that predominates in all cultures. The problem is that flour made from grains, legumes and nuts contains high levels of refined carbohydrates that lead to the prevalence of chronic diseases like diabetes, while providing little nutrition,” says Ruiz.
Mycelium, the root network of mushrooms, is high in protein, fiber and essential amino acids, and no refined carbohydrates. By using mycelium to replace flour, we can not only provide people with better nutrition, but we can also integrate seamlessly into various cultural plates.
“We urgently provide a source of nutritious food in the face of growing food insecurity. You don’t need farms to make this food, and you don’t need to ship it around the world. Equally important is providing foods that help prevent chronic disease and climate change,” he explains.
Upcycling fights food waste
“Upcycling Redefined” was named Innova Market Insights’ ninth trend for 2022.13 “Shared Planet” leads market researchers’ top trends, focusing on how industry and consumers can play their role in shaping a sustainable future.
Recycled sugar diverts inputs from landfills, preventing greenhouse gases from worsening climate change.
Ruiz comments, “When people think of food waste, they often think of uneaten food or imperfect products that are thrown away. But what most people don’t realize is that wasted sugar water, like that from a brewery or a can of chickpeas, is also food waste.
“Wastewater treatment is responsible for emitting methane, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides which are multiples worse than carbon dioxide as greenhouse gases and sending solid by-products in landfills. If you reduce inputs to wastewater treatment, you reduce inputs to landfill.
Meanwhile, in other recycled ingredient news, potato water is a byproduct of the potato starch industry and a source of novel functional proteins. As the “recovered ingredients” trend is ripe for industry-wide adoption, this untapped resource is being touted as the center of a new venture led by Danish biotech company Lihme Protein Solutions and Duynie Group, a Dutch upcycling specialist.
Additionally, Spanish plant-based meat brand Heura has introduced a new food processing method called Good Rebel Tech. It is a “new approach to food technology” that will produce macro and micronutrient dense foods in a sustainable way. Heura’s new technology platform recycles nutrient-rich byproducts and can also be applied to underutilized plant sources.
By Inga de Jong
To contact our editorial team, please email us at [email protected]
If you found this article useful, you may wish to receive our newsletters.
Subscribe now to get the latest news straight to your inbox.