Start-ups are utilising bacteria and fungi to generate protein and boost agriculture

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Photo: Nicolasintravel

By Emiko Terazono

Coming to a supermarket near you: a burger patty whose ingredients are grown from the microbes found in hot volcanic springs.

Sustainable Bioproducts, a Chicago-based start-up seeking to make edible protein from extremophiles — or micro-organisms that can survive extreme environments — is one of the growing number of companies turning to the power of natural microbes to help feed a growing population and boost agriculture.

The company, whose microbes come from Yellowstone National Park’s volcanic hot springs, has raised $33m from investors including Danone of France and agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland, and is hoping to launch protein substitutes in the US market in 12 to 18 months. …

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