The companies estimate that up to 16,000 tons of dates will be upcycled each year.
A new joint venture called Vital Foods Technologies LLC will see two companies work together to use upcycled dates to grow mushroom-based protein. MycoTechnology (Aurora, CO), a company that uses fermentation and mushroom mycelia to create nutritional proteins and flavors, announced it is partnering with Oman Investment Authority (Muscat, Oman), the country of Oman's sovereign wealth fund, to build a facility in Oman that will use the natural sugars in locally grown dates in the fermentation process to produce mushroom-based protein.
The Oman facility will scale up production of the mushroom protein. Oman is one of the world’s top 10 producers of dates, yet more than half of its date supply ends up in waste or animal feed. Instead, by upcycling these dates and using them as a natural sugar source, they can be used to fuel the fermentation of mushroom-based protein. The companies estimate that up to 16,000 tons of dates will be upcycled each year.
The partnership was spurred by the Oman Vision 2040 initiative, which aims to bring “modern technologies” to the country. Construction on the new facility, located on a 10-hectare site, will start in the first half of 2023. The company aims to go commercial with the mushroom protein by the second quarter of 2025.
The protein will also help increase the region’s local food production. In a press release, Alan Hahn, MycoTechnology’s CEO stated, “MycoTechnology is excited to be cooperating with Oman Investment Authority to build this highly innovative food oasis in the desert. It represents a breakthrough in the quest to bring food security to Oman and the wider region.”