Finnish biotech startup Enifer has injected new life into an old innovation of Finnish forestry engineers, revitalising the production of mycoproteins from paper industry by-products.
They have found strong demand from the pet food sector as in the 1970s and 1980s the product was sold to farmers for their animals, and are now looking also for ways to enter the higher-value-added human food market.
"Volumes of protein going into agriculture and pet food are huge. The companies are really looking for alternatives that are more sustainable. But, in general, they just need more, new sources of protein, because those sectors are growing fast and protein production is not really keeping up," co-founder Simo Ellilä said.
In October, researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) published a study showing that farmed fish grow better and healthier with Enifer's PEKILO mycoprotein than with soybeans.
Enifer’s proprietary technology can upcycle by-products from diverse agri-, food- and forest industry processes into its PEKILO mycoprotein, which consists of about 65% protein, 15% beta-glucan, 10% fats and minerals, and has a high concentration of vitamin B.
Enifer plans to announce the location of its first factory before Christmas.
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