Finland-based Biotech Startup Enifer Raises €12m in Funding. The funding comes from the European Union NextGenerationEU recovery instrument.
It will support building first-of-its-kind industrial facilities promoting the reuse and recycling of industrial by-products and waste streams, hence aligning with the EU’s circular economy action plan and the Sustainable Growth Programme for Finland.
The commercial-scale factory will produce Enifer’s unique PEKILO® mycoprotein ingredients, which are made using fungal fermentation. The PEKILO® fermentation process has a long legacy – it was originally developed by Finnish forest industry engineers in the 1970s.
As the world’s first commercial mycoprotein production process from 1975 to 1991, it converted forest industry by-products into sustainable feed protein for the domestic market.
Enifer has taken the original process many steps further and developed a food-grade ingredient based on the original PEKILO® technology. The product is a protein- and fiber-rich powder with a neutral taste and color that can be used in a similar way to plant-based proteins in the food industry today.
Simo Ellilä, CEO and Co-founder of Enifer said, “A key objective for the original developers of PEKILO® was to take this amazing source of protein to food applications. It is an absolute privilege for Enifer to be able to finally complete that mission, more than 50 years on,”.
Enifer, a spin-off company from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, was founded by five scientists in 2020 to develop and commercialize the proprietary PEKILO® technology further.
A process originally developed and used by the Finnish forest industry at a commercial scale, the PEKILO® technology enables the biotechnological conversion of dilute side streams into a high-protein ingredient, PEKILO® mycoprotein.