Chicago Food Company Nature discoveryin collaboration with Nasalaunched a protein bioreactor on board SpaceX-25 en route to the International Space Station. Seeking to develop new sustainable protein sources for space exploration, the in-flight study will demonstrate the use of new technology to grow protein-rich foods on the ISS.
During the study, the bioreactor will develop Fy, Nature’s Fynd’s nutritional fungal protein, using the company’s patented fermentation technology. According to the brand, its technology uses a fraction of the land, water and energy needed for traditional agriculture. The bioreactor has also been proven to effectively convert simple feedstocks, such as vegetation and excess plant material, into high-protein mushroom biomats.
The ISS study will now test the efficiency of the bioreactor under microgravity and radiation conditions in low Earth orbit.
According to Nature’s Fynd, the flight is an important next step in the company’s ongoing partnership with NASA’s EPSCoR (a program established to stimulate competitive research), Montana State University and BioServe Space Technologies, a research center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
A complete protein
Containing all twenty amino acids, Fy is a “new to the world” protein that provides a healthy source of fiber and other essential nutrients. Fy was first discovered in microbes living inside geothermal springs in Yellowstone Park. To date, Nature’s Fynd has raised a spectacular 500 million dollars in financing investors such as Al Gore, Bill Gates, ADM Ventures and Danone Manifesto Ventures.
In March 2022, the brand launched Fy protein plant-based sausages in select U.S. whole food markets.
To buckle the buckle
“Today, we are thrilled to announce our role in NASA’s groundbreaking research to develop a safe, efficient, and robust system for producing fresh food in space,” said Thomas Jonas, CEO and co- founder of Nature’s Find. “Our connection to NASA runs deep – Nature’s Fynd began as a research project for NASA, which led us to discover a remarkable microbe native to Yellowstone National Park. We are thrilled to come full circle now and demonstrate the effectiveness of our technology for future space travel.