Illinois Patent of the Month – July 2021

The Fynder Group, Inc. has recently been working on developing edible fungi in an effort to meet the rising demand for sustainable food sources. A key issue with sustainable food sources is protein. Animal-based foods offer complete proteins which mean they contain all essential amino acids. Plant-based foods, on the other hand, are typically short a few amino acids. Filamentous fungi is one non-animal protein source that successfully delivers the whole set of amino acids.  The Fynder Group decided to develop a system that would allow for effective production and processing of the filamentous fungi.

There are some food products that use filamentous fungi already, however it has been limited from widespread use because naturally grown fungi is very difficult to separate from the source it grows on. The growth process used by The Fynder Group produces fungi with a surprisingly high protein content, more so than seen in naturally grown fungi. They use surface fermentation to grow the fungi. They first inoculate a carbon-containing liquid medium with a nitrogen source and filamentous fungal cells. As the fungi grow, they generate biomats on the surface of the liquid medium. These biomats are then harvested, usually after 2-3 days of growth. The process is easily scalable and can be moved into larger vats for greater yield. Developing animal-alternative protein sources that have reliable production rates will be invaluable as the world continues along this goal of sustainability.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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