A new promising strain has appeared in the fast-growing artificial meat market. A Boulder, Colorado-based startup Emergy Foods recently launched revolutionary new vegan brand Meati Foods, which has created a mysterious product similar to real steak and chicken breast from fungi. The world’s first line of fungi-based steaks and chicken are developed using the technology that is based on mycelium – the fast-growing root structure of mushrooms.
The startup claims that the foodstuff they developed is both looks and tests like a real steak. Many other companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods focus on producing ground vegan meat, but Meati Foods’ plant-based meats are free of a pea, wheat, and soy. The company CEO explains that opting for mycelium allows Meati to mimic the look and mouthfeel of whole cuts of protein, such as steak and chicken breast, which is difficult to do with other proteins.
How is it made?
The creators brew fungi, more specifically mycelium, inside a large fermentation tank of water, sugar, and nutrients, where it grows so quickly that it can fill a tank overnight. The material is then harvested, separated from water, blended with a few natural ingredients such as vegetables to create a delicious meat-like product and formed into the shape of a steak or chicken breast.
The fungus not only has the right texture but also can be produced exceptionally quickly using the fermentation process. The team explains, “At scale, we could produce the meat equivalent of nearly 4,500 cows overnight using a process that’s over a thousand times more efficient per acre as far as resource use.”
This fungi-based meat will save the lives of cattle who would otherwise meet the more gruesome death. Additionally, it could be a scalable, environmentally friendly alternative to the existing meat industry.
The company is planning to debut Meati Foods’ first products at a limited number of restaurants in Colorado in early 2020, with a focus on steakhouses and farm-to-table restaurants. The goal is to reduce production costs in the near future to reach price parity with wholesale animal-based meat products.