With a rapidly growing global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, demand for animal protein products is increasing; and with it, the environmental impact it creates, contributing to climate change.
Eternal's mission is to make food with high-nutritional value protein accessible to everyone. The company's Mycofood product offers a complete, animal-free food source containing high-quality proteins, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, with superior nutritional profiles compared to traditional protein sources.
Eternal stands out as the only finalist in the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition using fungi cultivated in a bioreactor to develop a chicken alternative. Horacio Acerbo, Founder of Eternal, highlights the uniqueness of their approach: "We are venturing beyond traditional alternatives, and we're confident that our method has the potential to revolutionize the future of food."
By working with fungi, Eternal has significant advantages: lower production costs and faster growth rates compared to the more prevalent plant-based meat-like alternatives.
The company combines state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, robotics, and computer vision systems, taking current fermentation techniques, and optimizing quality, scalability, nutrition, taste, structure, and cost. “We demonstrated we have the potential to revolutionize the future of sustainable food, innovating ethically to nourish billions,” says Lucas Gago, CIO and co-founder of Eternal.
Eternal will share a $2.5 million prize pool with five other outstanding finalists in the XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion competition. In addition to the main challenge, there is an additional bonus prize for the most cost-effective, animal-origin-free analogue. All six pioneering finalists will strive to create chicken or fish alternatives that closely mimic the sensorial properties, structure, versatility, and nutritional profile of conventional meats while substantially reducing their environmental impact.
The winner of the competition is set to be revealed in 2024.
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