Food scientists from a Chicago startup are making vegan meat products for hotdogs, nuggets, and hamburgers from the microbes found in Yellowstone National Park's hot springs.
The company, Nature's Fynd, uses extremophiles that could survive extreme environments and produce high levels of complete protein when grown in a controlled environment.
Scientists gave these tiny microbes some glycerin and starch as the first step in transforming them into proteins. It finishes with a fermentation process that they invented, which resulted in the 'Fy Protein.' Fy stands for Fusarium str. yellowstonensis.
It is animal-free meat complete with protein that has all the nine amino acids, and also high in fiber and vitamins, MailOnline reported. Besides, unlike conventional meat, the Fy Protein does not need land and soil to produce, so it is more environmentally friendly as well.
Vegan Meat For A Variety Of Products
In the past, food scientists from Nature's Fynd have already worked with food developers in developing meatless burgers, patties, and sausages. They also made some dairy-free cheese, dips, and yogurt. The company opened its food-grade processing facility in March this year and plans to distribute its first products soon.
With innovations in meat production, they are also looking into expanding their operations and hiring more people in the future. They hope that they could supply the ingredient for food processors with their vegan meat.
Nature's Fynd CEO Thomas Jonas said that he sees vegan meat as the next stage in the 11,000-year history of human domestication of animals and plants for food, UPI reported.
Moreover, the company also believes that they could produce more than just vegan meat for burgers, but it is also an inexpensive protein for the large population of Asia.
"The technology is portable," Jonas said. "We could go to China or India if we want and source local sugar streams."
Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund and Generation Investment Management, chaired by former US Vice President Al Gore, granted Nature's Fynd last month $80 million to continue creating an alternative protein source that would hopefully someday be distributed worldwide.
Nature's Fynd Fermentation Process
The most important part of transforming the microbes from the Yellowstone National Park's geothermal pools is the fermentation process that the food scientists in Nature's Fynd used.
They invented a liquid surface fermentation technology to grow the Fy Protein, using trays that are placed in standing towers that are inside a growth chamber.
Then they fed the microbes with glycerin and starch to kick start protein formation. Within a few days, filaments were already growing that interlace with each other and form a texture that looks like the muscle fibers in a mat-like structure.
Then the filaments were steamed, pressed, rinsed, and sliced that could be transformed into a liquid, solid, or powder form to create a variety of foods. According to Nature's Fynd, the microbes in Yellowstone's hot springs can produce tasty all-purpose foods that could be used to feed people anywhere they are in the world without using the sun, soil, and train.
"Perfect for all 8 billion of us, which means together we can give the earth a breather and let it rest," the video ad of Nature's Fynd said.
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