Food tech company develops natural solution to enhance shelf-life of plant-based meats

Chinova Bioworks looked to mushrooms as the source of its new plant-based meat preservative.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Food technology company Chinova Bioworks has introduced a way for store brand suppliers of plant-based meat products to extend their shelf lives.

The company in New Brunswick, Canada, has developed a clean-label natural fiber derived from the stems of white button mushrooms that can be incorporated into refrigerated plant-based meats to lengthen shelf life and improve the freshness of the products.

Chinova calls its innovation Chiber, saying it is a 1-for-1 replacement for artificial preservatives that provides protection from microbial spoilage. Chiber works against all common spoilage microorganisms such as yeast, mold and bacteria, and can also inhibit the growth of harmful pathogenic bacteria like E. coli and Listeria. 

Additionally, suppliers that use Chiber as a plant-based meat preservative can label their products clean and as certified vegan, kosher, halal, organic compliant, non-GMO, declared allergen-free, paleo, keto-friendly, low FODMAP (fermentable, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), gluten-free and Whole30. Chiber also contributes no added sodium.

“Mushrooms are on the rise and within the plant-based meat industry as a great protein alternative to conventional meat, but we have discovered that mushrooms can be used for much more than that,” said Natasha Dhayagude, CEO and co-founder of Chinova Bioworks. “We are on the forefront of mushroom innovation by realizing the potential of a fiber extracted from the stems of white button mushroom and the impact it can have to improve the freshness, quality and shelf life of food and beverages naturally. It’s the way food protects itself.”

Made up of 90% women practicing in STEM fields, Chinova Bioworks is a food technology company with a five-year track record of developing natural, clean-label preservatives extracted from mushrooms for the food and beverage industry. 

“Consumers expect plant-based alternatives to imitate all aspects of conventional products especially when it comes to the taste and shelf life. However, with plant-based alternatives, consumers expect more,” said Dhayagude. “Plant-based meats need to be healthy, natural and clean-label. With Chiber there is a significant opportunity for brands to obtain both a clean-label and improve product quality while also reducing a major food waste problem.”