Bacon—made of mushrooms? New plant-based meat on the horizon

| | December 20, 2018
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Eben Bayer, cofounder and CEO of Ecovative, built his company making things out of mycelium, the root structure of a mushroom. He’s made compostable packaging and bio-based leather in conjunction with Bolt Threads. Now he’s testing bacon in hopes of using the mycelium to create plant-based “meats” that have more structure than burgers in 2019.

“The dream is to be able to do the equivalent of a steak,” he told Forbes during an interview at the Biofabricate conference in Brooklyn. “When you talk to the folks who do plant-based burgers, the goal is to do a bacon cheeseburger.

The bacon is made entirely of mycelium, which is edible. Scientists modified its structure and added natural flavors to make it more appealing. The bacon turned out to be quite tasty, Bayer said, and sizzled on the grill like the real thing. “The holy grail in meat is structure,” he said. “We made the bacon prototype to convince ourselves. Is this crazy? Is this a bad idea? It was an unbelievable idea.”

Related article:  Time to regulate plant-based meat labels? Fewer than half of consumers know vegan 'beef' is animal free, survey shows

The mycelium potentially has the right structure to be used as a scaffolding for a variety of plant-based “meats.” It could be more dense like a steak, or more crispy, like the bacon ….

Read full, original article: Bioengineered Bacon? The Entrepreneur Behind Mushroom-Root Packaging Says His Test Version Is Tasty

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