Beet slices burger


By 2050, global food systems must meet the nutritional needs of more than 10 billion people. With increasing population growth, people's protein requirements and high meat consumption can no longer be sustained. Even at present, demand can only be met through factory farming, with the associated significant environmental consequences. Recent studies have concluded that more than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions come from food production, with animal-based food production responsible for 57% of this sector's emissions.

Based on the problem described and the current state of the art, we have made it our task to fill the apparent gap in the market for a vegan, vitamin-rich, and sustainably produced alternative protein source. In order not to depend on additional cultivation of soy or other legumes, the substrate of choice will be the side streams of the sugar industry, which are otherwise no longer destined for any higher value chain.

At the Institute of Applied Microbiology (iAMB), our task is to optimize the production of fungi protein-rich biomass in bench-top bioreactors, using different basidiomycetes previously screened for their potential to grow on beet pulp substrate and pleasant aroma profile. The complete characterization of growing kinetics and biomass formation would allow us to scale up production, to achieve an economically feasible production process.

Funding: Ministry for Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKULNV)

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Staff: Hendrik Ballersted Pedro Santos Oliveira