Edible fungi have been consumed by humans for millennia, often unknowingly in fermented products such as leavened bread and fermented juice. But in the late 20th century, fungi began its transition into the realm of alternative protein.
Perhaps the best-known in this realm is Quorn’s Fusarium venenatum-based mycoprotein, which the UK-headquartered first launched in 1985.
Almost 40 years on, and a growing number of entrepreneurs are developing alternatives to animal-sourced ingredients and products from mycelia – the root-like structure from which fungi grow. The fungi-based protein scene is ‘mushrooming’, and its players believe collaborative advocacy will help accelerate the sector.
In response, leaders of several companies pioneering fungi fermentation for food have united to form a new trade association: the Fungi Protein Association (FPA).
Founding members include Quorn, Nature’s Fynd, Enough, The Better Meat Co., The Protein Brewery, Prime Roots, Mycotechnology, Aqua Cultured Foods, Mush Foods, Mycorena, MyForest Foods, Bosque Foods, ProVeg and the Good Food Institute.
The trade association will represent the interests of its member companies, including advocating for fungi protein in public policy and conducting consumer research.
“The world needs more protein, and fungi fermentation offers a delicious, sustainable way to do just that,” said Quorn Foods CEO Marco Bertacca.
“We’re excited to partner with out fellow fungi enthusiasts to raise awareness and appreciation of the wonderful ways fungi can improve human health and the health of our planet.”