A first of its kind, the project will be called Plenitude
Plentitude is a Mycoprotein business plan that endeavours to produce accessible and sustainable high-quality proteins. The factory will be a zero-waste biorefinery, developed by the lead industrial partner Alcogroup SA, who are based in Brussels.
Mycoprotein is a fungus that was first found in the UK, introduced to the food industry in 1980 by vegetarian and vegan food producers Quorn. Since then, the value of Mycoprotein has increased due to the realisation that sustainable sources of protein are needed in order to feed the rapidly growing population.
Set to open in 2021, the Belgium-based factory will have an annual output capacity of 16,000 metric tons and is backed by The European Commission and Bio-based Industries Consortium partnership – a €3.7 billion public-private partnership, who are investing €17 million in the Mycoprotein project. Scottish biotechnology company 3F BIO, who have their own Trademark Abunda, a zero-waste refinery that produces Mycoprotein, are also co-funding the project.
Jim Laird, CEO of 3F BIO, commented: “3F BIO are delighted that the consortium has been awarded this grant. The problem of feeding a rapidly growing population and the continued demand for protein presents a high-level strategic issue. This project addresses this challenge by combining the benefits of biotechnology and the use of natural processes to support the efficient manufacturing of sustainable protein.”
There are 9 other partners involved in this grand-scale plan. They include Alcogroup SA, IFF BV (International Flavors & Fragrance), Wageningen University, Bridge 2 Food, Life Cycle Engineering Srl, Mosa Meat, Vivera, ABP and Lactips, all of which are prime performers in the bioeconomy industry.