Definition of the mycoprotein
Mycoprotein is a unicellular protein that is produced by the Fusarium venenatum fungi. It has been used as an edible protein source since 1985. It is produced usually in 5-6 hour cycles where water/glucose solution is inoculated with the fungi which are then constantly fed nutrients to maintain optimal growth, the monitoring and tweaking of the nutrient concentration, pH, temperature and O₂ during growth are also extremely important. Once growth is sufficient the solids combine to produce the mycoprotein, from here it is heated to 65°C to break down the RNA and reduce it to an acceptable level; if this was uncontrolled high levels of nucleic acids could have adverse health effects. Once this has all taken place 25% of the water is removed by centrifugal force, what is left behind is a paste-like substance which can be further shaped and processed into the desired end product. Freezing is often heavily used in order to gain a meaty texture in some of their products. This freezing and more so the controlled formation of microscopic ice crystals pushes the hyphae of the fungi together in order to create the characteristic meaty, fibrous texture.