Valorization of Wastewater for Production of Nutritious Food

Hyfé Foods transforms food processing wastewater into low-carb, protein-rich fungal flour products to replace beloved food items that are traditionally high in refined carbs and low in nutrients.

Critical Need for the Technology

Hyfé Foods is creating the new staple crop – one that is resilient to climate change and supply chain disruptions, and directly lowers greenhouse gas emissions with its production. Their first products are protein-rich, low-carb mycelium flour products that can be used both as a replacement for animal protein, due to the flour’s high protein content, and also as a direct replacement for wheat flour. Hyfé designed a fermentation process that upcycles wasted sugar water from food manufacturers, which is a major source of environmental pollution because its nutrient load generates high amounts of landfill-bound biomass as a byproduct of water treatment. CRI will enable Hyfé to further develop their mycelium flour production process by leveraging the MERF to scale the process, using a 100-gallon bioreactor and several 14L Fermenters.

Key Innovation

Hyfé is developing an advanced biomanufacturing platform that uses fungal fermentation to valorize waste and improve global food security.

R & D Status of Project

Technology readiness level 3-4

Team Overview

Michelle Ruiz – CEO/Co-founder

Andrea Schoen – CTO/Co-founder

Marina Poluektova – Process Engineer

Marlene Maeusli – Research Scientist

Rami Jameel – Fermentation Science Intern

Technology Profile

Status: R&D
Primary industry: Biotechnology
Category (i.e. tech keywords): alternative protein, mycelium, fermentation, circular economy, waste valorization, food security, climate tech, water scarcity, water resilience, climate change, staple crops, staple foods, food sovereignty

Estimated annual revenue: NA
Employs: 5
Social challenge: climate change, food security, US competitiveness, health, chronic illness prevention
R&D commercial collaborator: NA

Latest News

See All
  • Chain Reaction Innovations wins a 2023 Chicago Innovation Award

    Chain Reaction Innovations has been recognized for solving unmet needs, creating jobs and generating new funding in the Chicago metro area. Chain Reaction Innovations, the entrepreneurship program at Argonne National Laboratory, has been recognized with a Chicago Innovation Award. (Image by Chicago Innovation.) Chain… Read More

  • Entrepreneurship program at Argonne opens applications for startups

    Chain Reaction Innovations seeks innovators to join Cohort 8 OCTOBER 26, 2023 Develop your clean energy or climate technology with the support of Argonne National Laboratory’s Chain Reaction Innovations program. Application deadline is 5 p.m. CST, Nov. 30.   Through Chain Reaction Innovations, early-stage… Read More

  • New startups Join Argonne’s Entrepreneurship Program

    Chain Reaction Innovations announces new cohort Clean energy startups embed at Argonne to develop innovative technologies that hold promise for helping mitigate climate change. Four startups joined Chain Reaction Innovations, the entrepreneurship program at Argonne, to develop clean-energy technologies over two years. Four new… Read More

  • Demo Day Showcased Innovators at Four National Labs

    Argonne hosted Demo Day in downtown Chicago, an event celebrating innovation at four laboratory-embedded entrepreneurship programs. Resilience of innovators recognized at gathering of national lab-based technology incubators. Getting an invention or new breakthrough from the laboratory into the broader world requires more than just a… Read More

  • Argonne Hosts Demo Day for Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program

    U.S. Department of Energy event in Chicago, June 7, showcases innovative startups BY CHRISTINA NUNEZ MAY 25, 2023 Entrepreneurs with technologies for a clean energy future connect with resources and innovation ecosystems at U.S. Department of Energy national labs through the Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program. Read More