Today’s Solutions: January 19, 2022

Because it contains a lot of protein, egg white powder is among the most common ingredients used in the food industry. Rearing the chickens necessary for sourcing those egg whites, however, has a significant environmental footprint. As demand for egg white powder is only expected to grow in the future, a team of scientists has recently come up with a more sustainable, fungus-produced alternative.

The greener substitute, produced with the help of ‘precision fermentation’, comes from scientists at the University of Helsinki and the VTT Technical Research Center of Finland. As part of their study, published in Nature Food, the team genetically altered filamentous Trichoderma reesei fungus, in a bid to enable it to secrete ovalbumin, which makes over half of the protein content in egg white powder.

The process involved inserting the chicken gene responsible for producing ovalbumin into the fungus. This enabled the fungus to secrete the protein, which was then collected and dried into a powder. In tests, the team observed that the powder shared many of the same desirable properties as egg white powder, including the ability to foam up.

Most importantly though is the reduced environmental footprint associated with the process. According to the scientists, producing the fungus-derived ovalbumin could reduce land use requirements by nearly 90 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 31–55 percent compared to the production of its chicken-based counterpart.

Source study: Nature Food — Ovalbumin production using Trichoderma reesei culture and low-carbon energy could mitigate the environmental impacts of chicken-egg-derived ovalbumin

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

The Philippines bans child marriage to help stop child abuse

According to a report issued last year by the United Nations Children’s Fund, more than half a billion girls and women across the globe were married as children, meaning under the age of majority (18). ... Read More

This circular leather alternative is made from algae and peels

As people are increasingly becoming reluctant to use clothes and fashion accessories made out of animal-sourced leather, more and more designers are turning their eyes towards more sustainable and ethical alternatives. One of the latest ... Read More

Rapidly retrofitting old buildings is key for climate goals – Here̵...

Buildings account for about 40 percent of annual global carbon emissions. In order to meet our climate goals, every building on the planet will have to be net-zero by 2050. But since most of the ... Read More

IKEA buys land ravaged by hurricane to transform into forests

The Optimist Daily has shared several stories about the popular Swedish furniture company IKEA and its environmentally friendly initiatives such as its buyback and resell program, its pledge to stop using plastic packaging, its zero-waste ... Read More

This market is tossing “use-by” dates to help curb food waste

The British supermarket Morrisons has decided to remove “use-by” dates on milk packaging by the end of the month in an effort to save millions of pints of milk from being needlessly thrown away each ... Read More

The population of Ugandan tree-climbing lions is growing

One of the only populations of Ishasha tree-climbing lions in the world resides in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park (QENP). Unfortunately, the population faces numerous threats such as loss of habitat, climate change, and illegal ... Read More