Survey-Building mycelium-based protein products

Mycovation

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Hello! I am a food scientist and am working on harnessing the amazing power of mycelium to build some of the tastiest, healthiest vegan protein alternatives for a new set of products. We are looking to build ready-to-eat products for the busy vegans and vegetarians who love Asian cuisine.

The company is called Mycovation and we are looking from input from the community into how we can build the best products for all of you. If you are interested in taking a very quick survey and following our journey, we would really appreciate it if you could participate in our survey (below)

Please feel free to message us if you have any questions and we look forward towards making your tummies and the planet a happier place!

Mycovation | Mycovation - Online Survey Software
 

David3

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Hello! I am a food scientist and am working on harnessing the amazing power of mycelium to build some of the tastiest, healthiest vegan protein alternatives for a new set of products. We are looking to build ready-to-eat products for the busy vegans and vegetarians who love Asian cuisine.

The company is called Mycovation and we are looking from input from the community into how we can build the best products for all of you. If you are interested in taking a very quick survey and following our journey, we would really appreciate it if you could participate in our survey (below)

Please feel free to message us if you have any questions and we look forward towards making your tummies and the planet a happier place!
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The flexitarian and omnivore market is much larger than the vegetarian/vegan market. And, the flexitarians and omnivores are the ones who need to eat less meat.

I would suggest that, similar to companies like "Beyond Meat", you focus on developing hyper-realistic mock meats (and at an affordable price).
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Mad Bard
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I imagine by the name, mycelium is something similar to quorn ? As David3 said, realistic mock meats at an affordable price is exactly what veganism is crying out for. A lot of the ovo-vegetarian stuff is already very good but with vegan, it takes time to filter out the good stuff from the stuff that tastes like flavoured paper.
 

beancounter

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I completed your survey. Why did you only ask about Asian dishes? There are plenty of other "ethnic" foods that can be made vegetarian/vegan. My personal favorite are Indian dishes.

Like silva, I am not interested in insect protein.
 
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No crickets. I'm glad you are doing this - there are good Asian dishes that I miss.
 
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Lou

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Just did the survey and this has come up in other places as well. The term "alternative protein sources" just seems too vague. Is a block of tofu an alternative protein source? what about a can of beans? A glass of soy milk? A bowl of oatmeal?

I'm assuming the term refers to highly processed plant based foods. Like Beyond and Impossible.

Anyway not your fault but I think we need more specific terminology.
 
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Mycovation

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Sorry for the delay on posting the link, and thank you for all of the thoughtful feedback!

To answer some/all of your points in one post rather than spamming quotes:

@David3 You are 110% right, the shift (and our goal) to help shift current non-vegan/vegetarians over to a more sustainable and healthy diet is the most important agenda item. The exciting thing about mycelium is that the flavor and texture profile is quite "hackable" with how we set up substrates and fermentation so our goal is definitely to create realistic replacements to common "meat" dishes

@Brian W yes, quite right! And trust us, we don't want flavored paper either. We hope to make yummy bold flavors by creating the dishes in a more ready-made state, which also allows us to create a product that doesn't have to withstand several different cooking methods.

@silva fair point, insects are living creatures. We are following the traditional guidelines for what encompasses "protein alternatives", which includes insects.

@beancounter then you are in for a surprise! One of our hopeful first dishes will be a Paneer Tikka where the Paneer will be made out of mycelium :) Asian in our context encompasses South Asia as well. I am based in Asia and currently the landscape for Asian-dish alternatives is less than say the more "American" hamburger & hotdog diet. Also, many Asian dishes are incredibly animal meat centric and with such a large population we believe that this can help make a really big dent in the problem.

@Lou quite right, its hard to define. A chickpea could be as much of an alternative to protein as some complex lab-made monstrosity. Again we tried to follow the traditional industry definitions and buckets, but I've wrestled with this myself many times. I believe they do consider it something that has a level of processing, where tofu would be since it is a processed soybean product but a can of beans wouldn't be. It is probably not sufficient and the terminology can be frustrating and confusing. If you or anyone else has resources on this topic I'd love to read them!


Just as a general question for the whole group of your thoughtful responders - how can I get this survey in front of more people? Ideally I'd love to have 100s or 1000s of responses so that I can have a robust and significant survey. Thank you all for your help and the engagement is very encouraging :)
 

David3

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Just as a general question for the whole group of your thoughtful responders - how can I get this survey in front of more people? Ideally I'd love to have 100s or 1000s of responses so that I can have a robust and significant survey. Thank you all for your help and the engagement is very encouraging :)
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You could try presenting your questions to broader, less selective audiences that are nevertheless interested in ecology, health, and sustainability. This consumer market used to be called the "LOHAS" market - Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability.

Because food choices have become so politicized, you may need (at least) two marketing approaches.
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Lou

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Back in the day, before the internet you would get permission to talk to a classroom and then hand out a survey. or stand in front of a grocery store and give out free samples and then ask them a few questions. Or phone bank.
 

David3

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I think you’ll need a more appetizing product name than mycelium, if you want broad market appeal.
 

silva

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I had the best mushroom jerky from an Asian grocery, which was all flavored with 5 spice.I truly dislike 5 spice- the star anise, the combo of the other spices--but the texture was so crazy good I ate it anyway
Make jerky!
And ribs
and honestly I'd love a corned beef flavor with a fatty shreddy texture
 
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Mycovation

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@beancounter yes, i have posted to a few but you all have by far been the most helpful/engaged. Maybe its just a better community here ;) If there are any you particularly recommend I would love to check them out.

@David3 the actual substance is called mycelium. We plan to have much more appetizing names for the product once it is developed!

@silva that is great to here, they are doing some very interesting things with mushrooms. Mycelium is technically the vegetative part of fungal networks, so not quite a mushroom in the traditional sense. Just much easier transition than saying that it is made of fungus, which obviously has immediate negative reactions.