Mush Foods, the Israeli startup known for its mycelium-blended alt-proteins, is introducing a line of mushroom root blends in the US market. The product, named 50Cut, aims to enhance the sustainability of meat and fish-based dishes in restaurants.
The company, behind a mycelium ingredient designed for hybrid alternative meat products, is launching the mushroom root blends in the US after debuting its meat-plus range in Israel. The 50Cut range focuses on improving the sustainability, nutrition, and flavor of dishes containing ground beef, poultry, and fish.
In contrast to many other plant-based food tech companies, Mush Foods presents a blended solution, aiming to reduce meat on restaurant tables rather than eliminating it. The US launch follows the firm's successful $6.2 million seed funding round last year, led by Israeli tech investment group Viola Ventures, supporting its debut in the Israeli market.
Currently, Mush Foods has not disclosed specific foodservice partners or chefs for its product line but mentioned that the first US customer will be revealed in the coming weeks, with distribution starting shortly thereafter.
50Cut, designed to help consumers reduce meat consumption, is crafted using the company's proprietary above-ground cultivation technique. This technique enables the rapid growth of culinary-grade mushroom roots on local farms in the US within just 8 days. The roots, derived from various mushrooms such as shiitake and king oyster mushrooms, are then used to create pre-blended umami-flavored products for chefs to incorporate into their dishes, replacing up to 50% of the beef used in a burger patty, for instance.
Mush Foods emphasizes that its product is 100% mushroom and mycelium-based, designed for chefs to decrease the proportion of meat on plates. According to the company, nearly 1 in 4 US consumers express a desire to cut back on meat, and the ground meat category represents a substantial market.
Co-founder and CEO Shalom Daniel highlighted that Mush Foods aims to cut global meat consumption by half, contributing to a reduction in food system emissions and climate impact. The company's mycelium is positioned as part of the solution due to mushrooms being resource-efficient and not requiring additional crops.
Apart from sustainability benefits, Mush Foods notes that its blended roots line is a good source of dietary fiber, including beta-glucan, and is rich in nutrients like potassium, iron, and calcium. It is also a complete protein, containing all 9 essential amino acids.
Culinary director AJ Schaller believes that 50Cut is poised to address environmental challenges while reducing meat consumption and enhancing flavor, juiciness, and yields.
One of the key selling points of Mush Foods' 50Cut for restaurants is its cost-efficiency. The company emphasizes local production, growing mushroom roots with local farmers in the US to save on logistics and transport-related emissions. While specific pricing details were not provided, Mush Foods assures that the cost will be below that of conventional meat, making it an economically viable option for restaurants.
Yael Alroy, partner at Viola Ventures, emphasized that Mush Foods meets the criteria of providing great flavor, price parity, and nutritional value, making it a potential leader in the space. Other investors in the recent seed funding round include food tech incubator TKH, CPG and F&B investor Siddhi Capital, and VC accelerator Arc Impact Ventures.
In summary, Mush Foods' 50Cut offers a sustainable and flavorful solution for reducing meat consumption in restaurants, backed by its unique cultivation technique and cost-effective approach, garnering support from investors committed to environmental and animal welfare.
[image credits: Mush Foods]