Published 9 months ago.
About a 5 minute read.
Mycorena and Revo Foods have combined mycelium-based protein and 3D printing to create a potential win-win for seafood fans and overexploited fish populations.
global fish consumption has doubled since 1998 and a similar increase is
expected by 2050. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
that biologically sustainable fish stocks hit 64.6 percent in 2019 — just over
one percent lower than in 2017, but a disconcerting drop from the 90 percent
reported in 1974; and while efforts to replenish depleted fish
continues, the successes achieved in some countries and regions have not been
to reverse the global trend of overfished stocks — a trend that doesn’t bode
well for the future availability of seafood.
Some have pinned their hopes for fish stock sustainability on
but while fish farms do alleviate pressure on marine and freshwater fish
are on the rise, the aquaculture industry at large continues to set off alarm
bells due to its adverse environmental
and even incidences of animal
Luckily, an emerging crop of innovators — including Aqua Cultured
— has turned to the lab for a completely new way to satisfy the world’s appetite
for seafood without mining the seas, through cultivated seafood products. Then,
in October 2022, biotech startups Mycorena and Revo Foods partnered on a solution that could solve the fishing conundrum — without a fish in
In a recent interview, Mycorena Chief Innovation Officer Paulo
Sustainable Brands® that the Scandinavian company was born out of CEO
research exploring fungi’s potential to create alternative materials for a
variety of industries. Once his team realized the aptitude of fungi as a highly
versatile and nutrient-packed protein
they launched Mycorena in 2017.
After successfully securing a seed round of funding from GU Venture and
establishing its own lab, Mycorena launched its first product,
Promyc, in 2019. By 2021, the company
expanded further and set up the Mycorena Innovation and Development Centre
(MIND) — the first mycoprotein demo plant in the region. In 2022, it
received what was then the
Nordic series A funding and one of the most significant in Europe for the
alternative protein space. This year, the company board is set on achieving
Along with providing a source of fibrous, sugar-free nutrition containing all
necessary amino acids, Promyc also has notable environmental benefits. A climate
impact assessment with the SaaS platform CarbonCloud found that Promyc has a
carbon footprint of 1.5kg CO2/kg — a drastic improvement over that of beef (27
Another benefit is the speed with which it can be cultivated. Mycorena produces
its strain of filamentous fungi in a fermentation process that is somewhat
similar to how you’d cultivate a yeast culture in beer production, Dr. Teixeira
explains. They add the fungi to a large bioreactor tank filled with a mix of
nutrients specially developed for the fungi and grow it for roughly 24 hours:
“In those 24 hours, we can reach about 20 times the amount of fungi we started
with,” he states.
One of the defining features of Mycorena’s filamentous fungi is its ability to
retain a fibrous texture and nutritional value whilst delivering a neutral
taste. This is vital in tackling the challenge of emulating the shredded-like
texture and subtle flavor of fish.
Revo Foods is a plant-based seafood company founded
in Vienna by cell culture researcher Robin
interdisciplinary scientist Theresa
Rothenbucher, and 3D-printing expert Manuel
in 2021, with a goal to reduce overfishing and deliver healthy options that are
free from heavy metals and antibiotics; and its
products — ranging from tuna spreads to
smoked salmon slices — are already available in over 20 countries.
Since its launch, Revo Foods
€1.5 million in an initial funding round in April 2021, and a further €800,00
from Biogena Group Investors. The enterprise
has also recently been
as one of the top innovators by the European Institute of Innovation and
Technology. Based on the average weight of Atlantic Salmon, Revo Foods
estimates its products have
saved 7,800 salmon to date. The company’s production process uses 95 percent
less freshwater, whilst an initial life-cycle assessment revealed Revo’s
cultivated salmon uses 77-86 percent less CO2 than conventionally fished salmon.
Now, thanks to its partnership with Mycorena, the companies’ 3D-printed,
mycoprotein-based vegan seafood alternatives transform Mycorena’s fungi into a
paste that is then inserted into a 3D printer, where it is extruded in layers
that create the final product. The companies say the 3D printers are key to
creating the unique and complex structures that allow them to recreate the
mouthfeel and texture of distinct materials such as fish flesh.
Soon after announcing their partnership, the two biotech startups received a
from Swedish governmental agency Vinnova, the Austrian Research Promotion
Agency, and the EU funding program Eurostars to further develop 3D-printed
3D printers are effective at printing a variety of different
products. With this kind of technology, “you have a ton of flexibility and
customization properties,” Teixeira says. Another benefit of 3D printing is
their ability to print on demand in precise quantities, resulting in less waste.
“We want to be true change-makers, challenging decision-makers and investors,”
By challenging consumers and producers to consider alternative proteins in their
diet, Mycorena and Revo hope to cultivate a new way of eating and living more
sustainably — whilst inviting people to reflect about the impact that our
current methods of food production have on the climate and our global
Published Apr 28, 2023 2pm EDT / 11am PDT / 7pm BST / 8pm CEST
Nina Purton is the founder of Eco Writing — a startup providing blog marketing for projects and businesses with sustainability goals. With a background in English literature and a lifelong passion for eco-friendly practices, Nina started her journey with small initiatives which resulted in collaborations with larger projects and businesses. Nina now blends her knack for creativity, research skills, and knowledge to inspire innovative and healthier interactions with the natural environment.