Mycoprotein - the new mushroom-based protein
OIA (Oman Investment Authority) and MycoTechnology have just announced the establishment of 'Vital Foods Technologies' to complete a large scale production facility in Oman, and STI Engineering is proud to be part of this new strategic partnership that will bring advanced modern technologies to Oman.
Oman Investment Authority launched the new project to produce mushroom-based protein using dates as the main element, in collaboration with international partners like US company MycoTechnology - leader in food biotechnology - focused on the production of alternative protein and sugar reduction ingredients.
Dates, mushroom and enzymes: how it works
Mushrooms digest their food externally by secreting enzymes into their outer environment. These enzymes are able to break down complex organic matter into simpler nutrients - like sugars, nitrates and phosphates. Thanks to this process, MycoTechnology can exploit these enzymes from ferment fungi (mycelium of mushrooms) to reduce the bitterness, sourness and astringency largerly found in the food and drink production.
In fact, such alternative food industry has become part of the international interest lately. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, 15-20% of animal-based protein will be replaced by plant-based protein by 2025 and this food market is set to reach $162 billion in value by the year 2030.
The Future of Food
The outcome of this partnership is to attain economic diversity, create job opportunities and new chances for Omani SMEs. OIA is looking for international expertise in order to achieve national sufficiency and to enhance food security through local projects.
Ibrahim Al-Eisri, Director of Private Equity at Oman Investment Authority, announced: “This innovative project represents the benefits OIA can reap from international investments, whereafter it attracts its international partners to establish their projects in Oman and to transfer and bring advanced modern technologies to the country”
Alan Hahn, CEO and Founder of MycoTechnology, said “Oman produces about 400m MT per year, and over 50 per cent is not suitable for table dates and can be made available to produce Mushroom Protein”
STI Engineering in Oman
This strategic industry is overseen by state-owned company Oman Food Investment Holding Co. (OFIC) whose goal is to create a strong and safe climate for investments and investors, bringing back revenue to Oman in the long term.
Already present in Oman, STI Engineering has completed multiple projects like the “Oman Dates Production & Packaging Project”: a netwotk of dates collecting centers and all supplying raw dates to a central processing facility with an overall capacity up to 80.000 tons/year of finished and semifinished product as dates, date paste, date syrup, date vinegar. The project - completed in 2020 - involved 6 collecting centers in different regions like North and South Batinah, North and South Sarqiah, Rustaq, Al Dahkhiah and Al Dhahirah and 1 collecting center including a processing factory in Barka city.
Now, the first phase of this new, thrilling project will start with the preparation of an economic feasibility study. As international leader of this industry, STI Engineering is expected to be a strategic player of this new project in collaboration with multiple international players.
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