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Mycoprotein: environmental impact and health aspects

Souza Filho, Pedro F., Andersson, Dan, Ferreira, Jorge A., Taherzadeh, Mohammad J.
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2019 v.35 no.10 pp. 147
blood, chickens, cholesterol, developed countries, environmental impact, food industry, fungal biomass, fungi, glycemic effect, human nutrition, life cycle assessment, patties, pork, sausages, supermarkets
The term mycoprotein refers to the protein-rich food made of filamentous fungal biomass that can be consumed as an alternative to meat. In this paper, the impact caused by the substitution of animal-origin meat in the human diet for mycoprotein on the health and the environment is reviewed. Presently, mycoprotein can be found in the supermarkets of developed countries in several forms (e.g. sausages and patties). Expansion to other markets depends on the reduction of the costs. Although scarce, the results of life cycle analyses of mycoprotein agree that this meat substitute causes an environmental impact similar to chicken and pork. In this context, the use of inexpensive agro-industrial residues as substrate for mycoprotein production has been investigated. This strategy is believed to reduce the costs involved in the fungal cultivation and lower the environmental impact of both the mycoprotein and the food industry. Moreover, several positive effects in health have been associated with the substitution of meat for mycoprotein, including improvements in blood cholesterol concentration and glycemic response. Mycoprotein has found a place in the market, but questions regarding the consumer’s experience on the sensory and health aspects are still being investigated.