Breakthrough collaboration between Nizo and Yaegaki promises innovative approach in protein transition
At the start of May, a collaboration agreement between NIZO Food Research (The Netherlands) and Yaegaki Biotechnology (Japan) was signed at the Embassy of the Netherlands in Tokyo, on the joint research and development of alternative meat products using mushroom mycelium based on traditional Japanese ‘koji mold’.
Food security is one of the world’s major challenges, and it is also the driving force for the food industry to constantly find bold alternatives to traditional food sources. Protein transition plays a big role in this global reformation involving a diversity of both materials and methods, an area in which NIZO Food Research (NIZO) is a leading expert. Moreover, NIZO has been the tip of the spear in food and health innovation for 75 years, building expertise and know-how in the areas of the protein transition, smart processing, food safety and health benefits.
Meanwhile in Japan, fermentation has been used for centuries to produce fermented foods such as sake, soy sauce and miso. At the forefront of this field, Yaegaki Biotechnology has more than 50 years of history researching fermentative techniques on various mushroom mycelia (also known as koji mold) and its functional properties related to flavor formation. In 2006 the Brewing Society Japan even declared that koji molds should henceforth be known as the National Fungi of Japan. After discovering that original mushroom mycelium strains are promising candidates for a new type of sustainable alternative proteins, Yaegaki and NIZO have agreed to conduct joint research further developments on this topic.
This event not only strengthened the 420-year relationship between both nations, but also marked the first step of a long term strategic collaboration between Yaegaki and NIZO Food Research. Using innovative alternative protein processing technologies of NIZO and original mushroom mycelium materials of Yaegaki, the two companies will work together in order to enhance a 'new food technology culture' between Japan and the Netherlands and to develop a promising solution for global food security.
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