Meati Foods Taps AI to Improve The Health Benefits of Mushroom Meat
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Colorado-based mycelium meat producer Meati Foods has announced a collaboration with Artificial Intelligence company PIPA to expedite its comprehension of the health and nutrition benefits of its nutrient-rich products.
The new collaboration follows the establishment of the Meati Science Advisory Board (MSAB), which comprises health, nutrition, and protein experts from the University of California, Davis.
The partnership is aimed at not only enhancing Meati’s understanding of the health benefits of its existing products but also identifying possibilities for new products that leverage the taste, nutrition, and sustainability advantages of their core ingredient, mycelium, commonly known as “mushroom root.”
Improving the health of ‘everyone at the family dinner table’
“When founding Meati and unpacking what it would take to achieve global-scale impact on our food system, the requirements were monumental: It had to be a delicious, whole-food solution plucked from nature, rapidly scalable and, critically, hyper-nutritious,” Dr. Justin Whiteley, Meati Foods’ co-founder and chief science officer, said in a statement. “AI is the perfect tool to help accelerate our understanding of exactly why including Meati products can improve the health of everyone at the family dinner table, and I can’t imagine pursuing this research without a world-class AI partner like PIPA.”
Meati says its products, which contain a complete protein (PDCAAS 1.0), are expected to positively impact heart health, digestion, the immune system, and blood glucose levels.
“Fungi, including mushrooms and their mycelium root-like structures, have a long history of enhancing the nutritional quality of diets in many cultures,” said Dr. Roberta Holt, a member of the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. “Working with the unique AI capabilities of PIPA provides us an unprecedented opportunity to advance our scientific understanding of how fungi-based products such as Meati can provide sustainable nutrition to benefit public health.”
Machine learning for better meat
According to Eric Hamborg, chief commercial officer for PIPA, the research is in PIPA’s “sweet spot of accelerating what’s possible at the intersection of food, nutrition and health,” he said. “We look forward to supporting Meati’s efforts to better understand how their unique star ingredient can benefit people’s health and improve nutrition now and in the future.”
AI is being used by a number of key players in the alternative protein space. Chile’s NotCo has notably worked with machine learning to unlock ingredients for its vegan products that include a co-branded range with Kraft Heinz. Bay Area vegan cheese producer Climax Foods is also leveraging AI to develop its high-end cheeses, including a co-branded partnership with the Bel Group.
Meati’s AI announcement comes after big news for the brand last month: former MLB All-Star Derek Jeter invested in Meati, bringing its total funding to date to more than $250 million. Meati’s debut product line, Eat Meati, is currently sold in various grocery stores and eateries across the U.S. and has recently collaborated with food service redistributor DOT Foods. The product line won VegNews’ Best in Show award at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, Calif., last March.