Nature’s Fynd and NASA join forces to grow fungi-based protein in space
Nature’s Fynd’s protein bioreactor has today gone into orbit aboard SpaceX-25 to develop new ways to provide nutritious, sustainable protein for space exploration.
This flight is an exciting next step in Nature’s Fynd’s ongoing collaboration with NASA’s EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), Montana State University, and BioServe Space Technologies, a Center within the University of Colorado Boulder.
The goal of the flight study is to demonstrate the use of a novel bioreactor technology for growing high-protein food on the International Space Station (ISS). This bioreactor technology has proven to efficiently convert simple feedstocks on Earth, including vegetation and other excess plant material into high-protein biomats of fungi. Now, this flight will research the bioreactor’s efficacy under low-Earth orbit microgravity and radiation conditions.
“We are seeing the possibilities of exploration beyond our planet brought to life just this week by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope," said Thomas Jonas, CEO & Co-Founder of Nature’s Fynd. "Today, we’re thrilled to announce our role in the revolutionary NASA research to develop a safe, efficient, and robust system for producing fresh food in space. Our connection to NASA is deep. Nature’s Fynd started as a research project for NASA, which led us to discover a remarkable microbe with origins in Yellowstone National Park. We’re delighted to come full circle now and demonstrate our technology’s efficacy for future space travel. Our breakthrough fermentation system is relatively simple, uses minimal energy and water, and delivers a nutritious protein that is easy to harvest, with little to no waste in a matter of days - as perfect for space as it is here on Earth.”
The novel bioreactor onboard the ISS will grow Fy, Nature’s Fynd’s versatile, nutritional fungi protein harnessing their patented fermentation technology that uses a fraction of the land, water, and energy required by traditional agriculture. Packed with all 20 amino acids, including the nine essential ones, Fy is a complete, vegan protein and a healthy source of fiber and other essential nutrients. Nature’s Fynd recently launched its Meatless Breakfast Patties and Dairy-Free Cream Cheese made with Fy in grocery stores across the USA.
“Each of these projects has the potential to contribute to critical innovations in human spaceflight on the International Space Station and beyond," concluded Jeppie Compton, NASA EPSCoR Project Manager. "We’re very impressed with the ideas put forward in these investigation concepts and look forward to seeing how these technologies perform.”
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