Mycelium-based meat alternatives unveiled by Bosque Foods

Bosque Foods (formerly Kinoko Labs) is a biotech company on a mission to create game-changing mycelium-based whole-cut meat alternatives. The team has been moving at lightning speed in the last months – raising capital, showcasing product prototypes, and building up their team. We caught up with Founder and CEO Isabella Iglesias-Musachio to find out about the latest news.

Mushroom pioneer Bosque Foods has unveiled its whole-cut, mycelium-based meat alternatives to investors in Europe for the first time. The biotech startup, which is based in New York and Germany, hosted an exclusive tasting at the ProVeg Incubator in Berlin to showcase prototypes of its alt-pork and alt-chicken products.

“We are creating better-than-meat products. They deliver on the entire taste experience, nutrition, and affordability without compromise”, said Founder and CEO Isabella Iglesias-Musachio.

“The purpose of our tasting events is to showcase the early prototype of our mycelium-based fillets. We’re also demonstrating the potential of the ingredient we are cultivating, as well as the progress we have made on developing end-products.”

Mycelium-based meat alternatives being prepared by Bosque Foods CEO
Bosque Foods investor tasting of mycelium-based meat alternatives at the ProVeg Incubator in Berlin. Photo credit: Jan Michalko

During the tasting event, investors from Purple Orange Ventures, Unovis, Astanor Ventures, Food Labs, Big Idea Ventures, and Be8 were treated to alt-pork fillets in Vietnamese bao buns and alt-chicken fillet. Bosque Foods will be hosting a further sampling session in San Francisco later this month (March 2022).

Lightning growth for mushroom protein

Isabella and her team recently kicked off their seed round of funding and they’re actively raising capital in order to grow the company. Previously, Bosque attracted $500,000 in investment from ProVeg and VC firm SOSV.

In addition, the startup has been recruiting new team members and making leaps and bounds in terms of product development. “It’s been a busy and productive last few months”, said Isabella. “We recently recruited our Chief Science Officer. Dr Jörg Bormann, a fungal biologist with more than 20 years’ experience in fermentation.

“We also recruited our Chief Technology Officer, Caroline Van Der Horst. Caroline is a food technologist with over 25 years of experience. She has also already helped to build two of the largest mycelium-cultivation companies in Europe.

Bosque Foods bacon and eggs

“From the science and tech side, we achieved proof of concept for our unique solid-state fermentation method. We have also developed our first prototypes – which is what we are currently showcasing at our investor tasting events.”

The path to mycelium-based meat alternatives

Bosque Foods is an alumnus of the ProVeg Incubator, having completed our accelerator programme in 2021. Isabella had set up the company shortly before that and said that when she embarked on her “entrepreneurial path”, she already knew that her company mission would be contributing towards “creating a more sustainable food system”.

“While studying sustainable agriculture, I came to learn about the gruesome conditions of factory farms. That’s why I decided to become vegetarian”, said Isabella. “I had to reinvent my daily food rituals, and found that mushrooms were a great centre-of-the-plate alternative to meat.

Mycelium-based meat alternative: chicken salad from Bosque Foods

“That sparked my interest in fungi as a biological kingdom with incredible variety and versatility. This then led me to learn about fermentation and I began experimenting. When I came to found my company, it was clear to me that it had to be fermentation-enabled and fungi-based.”

A real game changer for the alternative-protein space

Bosque Foods is currently developing a line of chicken and pork fillets that they intend to sell as branded CPG products through supermarket retailers and wholesale through food service companies.

“By leveraging mycelium’s inherent fibrous structure, we can naturally replicate the texture of animal-based meat. We can do this without the need for the numerous texturisers, fillers, and binders that are found in some other meat alternatives currently on the market.”

The method of solid-state fermentation that Bosque Foods is developing to create its products could be a real game changer for the alternative-protein space.

Albrecht Wolfmeyer, Head of the ProVeg Incubator, said: “The next generation of alt-protein products – like whole-cut meat alternatives – can achieve what the current generation of plant-based products is often missing in terms of nutrition, texture, flavour, and clean-label requirements. This is why I am very excited about the innovative work of the team at Bosque Foods.”

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