Spanish bio-tech Libre Foods has been awarded a €335,000 public R&D grant by Neotec – a programme that supports tech-based companies – to develop its low-cost mycelium ingredient for meat alternatives.
Libre Foods plans to launch an advanced screening platform that integrates rapid imaging robotics and machine learning to discover and optimise fungi-based applications, accelerating product development. The company says that its platform could increase efficiency in R&D by more than 800 times.
Alan Iván Ramos, founder and CEO of Libre Foods, said: “The use of high-throughput screening allows us to understand early which parameters are most determinant for yields and efficiency at scale, enabling us to scale both faster and cheaper".
The news follows Libre Foods’ introduction of the “EU’s first” mycelium-based whole-muscle chicken breast in September 2023. The company expects to commercialise the vegan chicken early this year, as the strain of fungi used isn’t considered a novel food and therefore does not require regulatory approval.