Most fake meat products get protein from a small group of plants. In the case of the Beyond Burger or Nestle’s Awesome Burger, the main ingredient is pea protein; the Impossible Burger gets protein from soy and potatoes. Kellogg’s “Incogmeato” line is made with soy. But one new Bay Area startup relies on fungus instead—specifically, koji, the fungus used to make sake.
大多数人造肉的蛋白质来自少数几种植物。Beyond Burger或者雀巢的Awesome Burger的主要成分是豌豆蛋白，Impossible Burger的蛋白质来自大豆和土豆。家乐氏的Incogmeato里面的肉是大豆制成的。但一家新的湾区初创公司用的却是真菌，就是日本酒曲，是用来酿造日本清酒的真菌。
The startup, called Prime Roots, launched limited sales of its first product—a fungi-based bacon—online today. Bacon “is a very underserved meat alternative,” says Prime Roots cofounder Kimberly Le. “There’s a lot of ground beef out there. But there isn’t as much in the way of whole-muscle meat or a more formed product like bacon or chicken breast, which is something that koji does really well at replicating.”
这家公司名为Prime Roots，现在在网上推出了第一款限量产品，是由真菌加工成的培根。Prime Roots公司联合创始人Kimberly Le说培根是“供不应求的肉类替代品，市场上有很多牛肉粒，但像培根或鸡胸肉这样带纹理的肉或者更成形的肉类货量不足，而这些正是日本酒曲能够复制的肉类。”
In its Berkeley headquarters, the company grows the fungi in fermentation vats, in the same type of process as brewing beer or sake. When nutrients are added to koji “seeds,” they grow into long fibers within a few days. “The fibers are similar to chicken breast fibers in terms of their texture and what they look like,” Le says. The company strains out the fibers from the liquid they grow in and then adds plant-based fat and flavors to make the end product.
“We form it into essentially what is a pork belly,” she says. “It’s a block with natural fats and flavors. We actually smoke that block in a smoker, just as you would smoke a pork belly to make bacon. And then after it’s smoked and it has the flavor imparted into it, we’ll use a meat slicer to slice it just like you would bacon.”