How This Company Is Making Realistic Vegan Steak From Fungi

Meati Foods is making realistic vegan steak and chicken breast from fungi.

The new brand — created by food tech company Emergy Foods — says its vegan meat products are tasty, tender, and grill and sear just like the real deal.

To make its products, the company uses an approach that isn’t dissimilar from cheesemaking. It grows its own mycelium — which it feeds sugar water — in a “submerged fermentation process,” reports New Food Economy. It continues, “the product is cultured in large stainless steel vats, then harvested.

According to co-founder and CEO Tyler Huggins, the process resembles that followed to make clean meat from animal cells. However, he believes fungi cells are more versatile.

He told New Food Economy, “they have their own digestive system. They can break down a variety of different carbon sources, sugar sources in order to convert it into energy and ultimately grow and produce more proteins.”

Meati Foods’ fungi-based steak has a similar texture to animal-based steak.

Saving More Than 4,000 Cows Per Day

Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, the final product has the texture of meat. It is flavored with vegetables and spices to achieve the taste. Emergy Foods uses just five functional ingredients in the whole process.

According to co-founder and CTO Justin Whitely, Meati Foods’ fungi-based products are “superior” to other plants and animals in a number of ways. He said in a statement, “our process is nearly 20 times more productive per acre than soy. At scale, we could produce the meat equivalent of nearly 4,200 cows per day.

“Because our fermented fungi naturally mimic meat, we do not have to introduce harsh chemicals, complex processes or numerous ingredients into our products,” he added.

The brand’s marketing director Morgan Agho says that the purpose of Meati Foods is not to make people feel guilty about consuming animal-based meat in the past, but to encourage them to embrace a new way of looking at food.

She said in a statement, “we want consumers to feel proud of their rich food heritage, but also embrace the social and environmental advantages of modern techniques.

Emergy Foods is currently looking to partner with chefs to launch Meati Foods in 2020.