With the help of genetic engineering, Finnish scientists have developed a fungus that produces proteins found in eggs.
It should be noted that eggs are considered an important source of protein because their whites are rich in healthy protein, which is called ‘ovolbumin’.
However, large-scale production of eggs is also detrimental to the environment as large numbers of poultry raised on poultry farms not only emit a lot of dirt but also emit a lot of pollution from poultry farming.
To obtain environmentally friendly and low-cost egg protein, experts at the University of Helsinki and the VTT Technical Research Center in Finland isolated the gene that produces ovolbumin in chickens.
The gene was transmitted to a local fungus called Trichoderma reesei, which enabled it to produce ovalbumin.
In the next stage, the fungus was cultivated and ovalbumin protein was separated from it which was purified, dried and turned into powder.
It was the same powder commonly used in the preparation of protein supplements and obtained from egg whites.
The analysis revealed that this ovalbumin powder prepared in mildew had many important nutritional properties that are present in egg oval albumin. For example, being able to take a foam-like shape, etc.
Based on preliminary experiments, scientists estimate that obtaining ovalbumin from fungus would use 90% less land than poultry farming, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 31 to 55%.
Although it remains to be seen how much energy will actually be needed to produce ovalbumin from the fungus, scientists believe that it will also be less than that of poultry farming.
Experts estimate that greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by up to 72% if low-carbon energy sources were used.
Note: This research is published online in a recent issue of the online research journal Nature Food.
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