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Call for Partners | Sheetake - Transparent packaging sheets from mushroom side streams

Explorative research highlighted that transparent, plastic-like oil resistant sheets with high quality properties can be produced from side-streams of edible mushroom production. The goal of the Sheetake project is to develop fully biobased, biodegradable fungal-based packaging materials for food and non-food (e.g. home and personal care, textile) products.

Wageningen University is looking for partners across the value chain, ranging from side-stream owners and mushroom producers to technology providers and end-users of the materials produced to collaborate on making the Sheetake concept ready for commercial implementation.

There is an urgent and ever-increasing need for biobased and biodegradable packaging materials. We have recently developed a concept that fulfills this need, entailing the production of transparent plastic-like sheet materials from side-streams of edible mushroom cultivation. Importantly, the process developed uses fungal constituents and water only, thus is entirely biobased, and by relying on edible fungi and mild processing, is most likely to be easily implementable in food and food-contact applications. Product characterization demonstrated high transparency (80%) and excellent water and oil resistance. We therefore anticipate widespread application as packaging or coating material in the food, home- and personal care, paper and textile industries for the entirely biobased, biodegradable and potentially edible sheets manufactured. Having the concept demonstrated at TRL 3 now calls for the actual demonstration of a proof-of-concept next to the optimization of the process and product properties.

Within the Sheetake project an iterative feedstock-process-product optimization approach will be taken, paying special attention to desired product properties driven by market needs and jointly decided upon by the consortium partners.

Various fungal-based feedstocks will be considered, including currently availably mushroom side-streams, mycelium grown in bioreactors and mushrooms cultivated on heterogeneous lignocellulosic side-streams for this particular purpose. Sheets will be produced from said fungal feedstocks under various process conditions and characterized in terms of chemical composition and product features such as water and oil resistance and mechanical properties. This research further sets out to identify the fungal constituents important for sheet formation and product properties, which ultimately will allow targeted mushroom breeding and cultivation for improving this application outlet.

Promising fungus-process combinations will be upscaled and materials produced tested in actual applications by the consortium partners. The concept strongly adheres to circular-by-design premises and hence techno-economic, life-cycle, food safety and consumer acceptance aspects will play a crucial role in the development trajectory.


We pursue to collaborate on the ‘Sheetake’ project in a 3 to 4-year Public Private Partnership starting in 2025. In return for a yearly in-cash and in-kind investment, industrial partners will be given the opportunity to co-develop detailed project content and join the steering committee during project execution. Partners receive an immediate right to apply non-protectable foreground in their field, plus the first right to license any protected IP in their field.

[Image credits: Copilot AI / Source: Wageningen University]


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