Dutch startup FUMI recently developed a vegan egg-white replacer using spent brewer’s yeast, a waste product of the beer industry. FUMI founders Corjan van de Berg and Edgar Suarez Garcia developed the new product during a four-year research project at Wageningen University in the Netherlands wherein they sought to create new vegan ingredients using microalgae. During the project, the duo discovered processes that it applied to yeast that would create an ingredient that functioned similarly to egg whites in terms of emulsification, foaming, and binding properties. “It was amazing,” van den Berg told FoodNavigator. “We could make meringues out of proteins made from brewer’s spent yeast.” The founders choose to use brewer’s yeast to formulate their vegan egg whites because it was both cheap and environmentally friendly—representing a 95-percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions when compared to traditional chicken egg whites. “Actually, we believe that if we go down the spent yeast route, we could perhaps undercut egg white prices on an industrial scale,” van den Berg. The company is already in discussions with more than half of Dutch companies that produce meat replacements. FUMI has secured initial funding to run a pilot production program this summer with plans to open an investment round to fund a facility that has the capacity to produce 200 metric tons annually.
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