New company Atlas Food Co.—a food arm of textile technology company Ecovative—has developed a method of creating three-dimensional, whole cuts of plant-based meat using mycelium (a fast-growing mushroom root system). With its “Atlast” technology, the company makes it possible to create more than vegan ground meat and burgers, opening a door to producing products such as steaks, chicken breasts, and bacon. “We’ve been talking to plant-based meat companies interested in partnering with us over the past six months,” Ecovative director Andy Bass told FoodNavigator-USA. “The easiest way to describe it is that we’ve created programmable mushrooms. We can grow meat-like mushroom tissues in gourmet sheets with various textures and structures at commercial scale in just nine days.“ Bass explained that the material grows in large slabs which can then be infused with various flavors, fats, or other proteins such as pea or heme—key ingredients in Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods burgers, respectively. The company’s technology could also apply to the emerging cell-based meat industry which relies on scaffolding to give dimension to meat grown in a lab setting. Additionally, Evocative—which previously used its biofabrication platform to produce packaging for IKEA and vegan leather for biotechnology brand Bolt Threads—is also working to create novel snacks that are high in protein and fiber.

Photo Credit: Ecovative