Finnish startup renews near-extinct protein from waste

Finnish startup renews near-extinct protein from waste

"Protein Renewal"

A Finnish biotech startup has rejuvenated a near-extinct mycoprotein — known as Pekilo. The protein is extracted from the processing of organic and agricultural waste streams using a novel and exclusive process similar to beer brewing. The innovation addresses the challenge of food waste while meeting the increasing global need for sustainable proteins.

The idea of Pekilo originated from Finland’s paper industry in the 1960s. Paper mill waste facilitated the fungus’s growth, which later became a valuable protein source. Pekilo soon gained acceptance in international markets, serving as a practical solution for waste management and a sustainable source of protein.

As environmental awareness intensified, Pekilo emerged as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional proteins, easing the strain on natural resources. Its ability to convert waste into something valuable underscored Pekilo’s importance in global sustainability efforts.

A biotech startup founded by industry veterans revived Pekilo in 2020 to transform it into high-quality protein.

Finnish startup rejuvenates near-extinct protein.

These founders explored old archives to excavate crucial information about Pekilo. Their findings underlined Pekilo’s unique attributes, such as its high protein content and favorable growth conditions. They fervently believe in Pekilo’s vast market potential, especially given the growing demand for sustainable meat substitutes.

The startup has garnered substantial funding to create its first production facility in Kirkkonummi, Finland. This site is set to be the first commercial production location for mycoprotein ingredients sourced from food industry waste products, converting waste into high-grade protein. Aligned with its mission, the enterprise is eager to pioneer sustainable food solutions, minimize waste, and contribute to a healthier world.

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Although Pekilo remains relatively unseen and underused, it is considered an essential component in the pursuit of sustainable waste handling. This endeavor is a celebration of innovative problem-solving, turning what was once pure waste into a cherished nutritional resource and a symbol of sustainable measures.


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