Special Feature 1 – The New Era of Protein Resources A new option on the horizon? Koji mold as a meat alternative
Along with cultured meat, which is produced by culturing meat cells, meat alternatives made from materials other than meat are attracting attention as new sources of protein. Meat alternatives are currently made from legumes, but using food crops of this kind has an impact on the environment. What might offer a solution to this issue is a source of protein called mycoprotein, which is made from a fungus. It differs from conventional meat alternatives in that the microorganism itself is consumed as a food. This raises hopes that koji (Aspergillus oryzae) &mdash:— a mold cultivated in Japan since ancient times —— has the potential to become a meat alternative.