Kynda: “We Can Impress Even Sceptical Consumers with Our Product”

Earlier today, German biotech Kynda announced it has commenced construction of a large-scale facility for the production of its mycoprotein product, Kynda Meat.

Founded by Daniel MacGowan von Holstein and Franziskus Schnabel, Kynda’s biomass fermentation platform uses industry waste side streams to grow a strain of fungus in bioreactors in 48 hours —  a significant improvement over the industry standard of seven to ten days — and the process reportedly causes 700% less GHG emissions than pea protein.

Just two weeks ago, Kynda announced, “After just 48 hours of fermentation in our 1,000-litre bioreactor, we have harvested high-quality mycelium that perfectly mimics chicken breast. Which we used to make some tasty Tuesday night tacos.”

We spoke further with MacGowan von Holstein on the tacos, their fermentation process, the problem of regulatory approvals, and more.

Could you elaborate on the unique aspects of your fermentation process that allow you to produce mycoprotein in just 48 hours?
Our mycoprotein strain is highly efficient in converting substrates into biomass and has a naturally rapid growth rate. We have optimised its metabolic pathways to enhance rapid energy conversion and cellular proliferation.

Furthermore, our bioreactors are specifically designed and adapted to support the rapid growth of our mycoprotein strain.

Kynda chicken
© Kynda

Tell us more about the tacos, will this be a finished product?
The Kynda Meat comes out of the bioreactor ready to go. With specific harvesting methods, we can optimise the texture so that no further processes or additives are needed. However, our raw material is just as suitable as a substitute for expensive plant-based protein texturates and can also be used in hybrid products to improve flavour, texture, and price.

You can make dishes such as vegan chicken, for example, from the Kynda Meat, and then use it to create delicious tacos. We operate as a B2B business, but are of course delighted when Kynda Meat finds its place in tacos and other products as it answers the call of consumers for sustainable, nutritious and minimally processed ingredients.

How does your plug-and-play biotechnology work, and what are the key benefits for customers?
Our modular bioreactor system can be embedded in existing infrastructure and recycle process energy from other processes. It enables our partners to produce highly efficiently and massively enhance the bioeconomy of their core business, allowing them to produce more sustainably and cost-effectively. This comprehensive system encompasses all necessary steps, from starter culture to downstream processing, and it operates without specialised scientists or sterile labs.

“Upcycling really comes into its own when agri-food by-products are processed directly where they are produced.”

Our approach to sustainability involves facilitating the upcycling of by-products, thereby contributing to a global solution for reducing food waste.

Kynda Meat taco close up
© Kynda

Upcycling really comes into its own when agri-food by-products are processed directly where they are produced. To build a global upcycling system that solves our impending food crisis, we need an efficient, easy-to-use fermentation system.

How does your mycelium ingredient mimic the flavour and texture of chicken, and what feedback have you received from consumers and industry partners?
These are characteristics that are inherent to our strain. We can further refine the colour and flavour by making small adjustments to both the fermentation process and the feedstock.

“It’s a disaster that the regulations stand in the way of so many great innovations”

The feedback is overwhelming! We can impress even sceptical consumers with our product, the intensive discussions with the industry and the resulting collaborations confirm the quality and demand.

Can you explain the significance of the fact that Kynda Meat is exempt from EU novel food regulations and how this affects your market strategy?
Being exempt from regulatory hurdles, especially from Novel Food, is a huge advantage for us. As a startup, navigating the complex novel food authorisation process in Europe is expensive and laborious. It’s a disaster that the regulations stand in the way of so many great innovations.

We are pleased that we have already found a way to bring our technology to the market at full speed and make a contribution to sustainability and the circular economy today.

Kynda chicken on plate
© Kynda

What are your plans for launching Kynda Meat in the European market and which segments are you targeting initially?
We are currently scaling up our own capacity significantly to meet the strong demand for the raw material.

The first products in which Kynda Meat will be used are vegan burger patties and vegan sausages, initially available in food service and soon to be introduced in food retail.

Additionally, the pet food and animal feed industry is also interested in Kynda Meat, attracted by its low production costs and excellent nutritional balance.

Are there any upcoming developments or partnerships that you can share?
Right now, we are already in the testing phase with European agri-food, dairy, and pet food companies. Furthermore, we’re also working with a well-known food brand in North America and Japan on the international rollout.

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