When it comes to food innovation, you can’t stop progress. In Finland, researchers have found a way to obtain ovalbumin, the main protein in egg whites, by culturing a fungus. Enough to provide a plant-based and ecological alternative to egg whites, which can also be whipped. explanation.
To develop this alternative, Finnish scientists from the University of Helsinki, together with a team from the VTT Technical Research Center in Finland, followed a very specific process. They first took the genes responsible for the production of ovalbumin from a chicken. Then they placed them in filamentous fungi called Trichoderma Reesei† By growing these mushrooms, they in turn began to secrete ovalbumin. The protein was then extracted from the mushrooms to be concentrated, dried and powdered to make a functional product.
The results of their research have just been published in the journal Nature Food. According to the study, this new material would have the same foaming properties as a conventional protein and can also be whipped.
An eco-friendly alternative to raising chickens
If this research reports yet another way to produce a plant-based alternative to the egg, it is especially attention-grabbing because it offers a new ecological solution for raising chickens. In 2018, Spanish researchers calculated the CO2 emissions costs of intensive egg production in Europe. If you take into account often imported food, packaging, energy requirements, but also cleaning, the production of a dozen eggs corresponds to 2.5 kg of CO2 equivalent.
In Finland, researchers calculated that their discovery of fungi-based plants would reduce the need for growing space by nearly 90%, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 31% to 55%.
(ETX Daily Up)