MycoTechnology with Jim Alderink

What roles do mushrooms have in biotechnology? So many! But today we are talking about the newest fungal innovations in food science. Our guest today, Jim Alderink, is the VP of Technology Integration for the auspicious start up, MycoTechnology based in Colorado. We cover some unexpected applications of fungi and their metabolites, how they scale the technology and cover some of their most successful developments— the ClearTaste™  Bitter-Blocker and the PureTaste™  Protein that are revolutionizing food science. We discuss the potentials of fungi in biotechnology, the happy accidents that birthed MycoTechnology and so much more!

In 2019 Jim brought his 30 years of “Big Food” experience at the Kellogg Company to the “not-so-little-anymore” mushroom startup MycoTechnology. As VP Technology Integration, Jim capitalizes on a career spent in food development and leadership within the natural products category. He now focuses on how MycoTechnology’s unique mushroom fermentation platform can positively impact the health and wellness of consumers around the world. In his free time, Jim is an avid gardener and morel hunting enthusiast!

Show notes: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1t5YIwhrdbkfdedhAdkkzQjkfjK5S6RCX?usp=sharing

Transcription:

Alex Dorr 0:20
Welcome, welcome to another episode of mushroom revival podcast. This is a podcast, bridging the gap between you our lovely, incredible beautiful listeners and the wonderful, wacky world of mushrooms. We’re unbelievably obsessed with the healing power of mushrooms. And we interview people from all around the world, the leading experts to go on a mushroom adventure with us to geek out. So thank you for joining us. If you’re tuning in on an audio streaming platform, you can watch the video on YouTube if you’re on YouTube right now. Hello, and thank you for joining us. Let’s jump in here.

Lera Niemackl 1:01
So please welcome Jim all drink of MycoTechnology, which is a very quickly growing technology company purely based on mushrooms. And you’ve done so much you also have a pretty impressive history of working with Kellogg’s and bringing them up to the scale that they are at. So it’s great to see you in this industry. And hopefully MycoTechnology will grow just as big just as successfully.

Jim Alderink 1:29
Wow. I hope so too. That’d be amazing.

Lera Niemackl 1:32
Yeah, I really would be. So can you give a brief background of your story to our listeners and how you got into this line of work and why you decided to work with MycoTechnology and what excites you about it?

Jim Alderink 1:45
Right. Well, yes. Great. Well, it’s great to be here. Thank you. Yes, I did spend a significant amount of time so I’ve been about 35 years in the food industry. Started out on the bench. I was a product developer for a very, very long time with the Kellogg company right out of school, and really enjoyed that. So 30 years with Kellogg’s in a variety different roles, a lot of different places on the planet, but really fell in love with the natural foods industry Kellogg. I was around when the Kellogg company acquired Kashi, Barenaked, Morningstar farms, so a lot of the real high end level natural foods companies and I actually was proud to be a product developer and work for that segment. And so I really got kind of caught up in the nutritional bass segment for Kellogg’s and literally my last year before I retired in April of ’19, was technology development, and I had the scouting function. So we were scouting for new new companies. And this little company called MycoTechnology ‘s about 2016 came across my desk and doing some very unique and interesting things. So I sent a team of people out to kind of scout them. And the rest is sort of history. Kellogg became an investor that’s public information, along with many other big food companies, raised a lot of money and created a technology platform that literally is a game changer. And so after I retired from Kellogg’s I decided to join MycoTechnology to see what I could do with a small company versus the big behemoth of Kellogg’s, which is, you know, much, much larger. So we are now playing the game with mushroom fermentation, which is a little bit different than the fruiting body of a mushroom. But I’m sure we’re going to talk more thoroughly about that when we’re really working hard to harness the power of mushrooms, you know, and mushrooms themselves are amazing. As you know, we eat them, we love them. But where the true magic if I can use that word in mushrooms happens beneath the surface in the root system or the mycelium. And that’s where we play our game. So that’s what makes mycotechnology unique.

Alex Dorr 3:41
And you say front and center on your website, how mushrooms are transforming the food industry. Can you tell us a bit more about this magic that’s happening in this these bioreactors and what you’re doing with it?

Jim Alderink 3:53
Really, we can choose a lot of areas to play. I mean, there’s a lot of people doing stuff here. They’re making packing material, there’s a lot of stuff that they’re doing to make shoe soles and buttons. Really amazing things with, you know, in other areas other than just food and you can go off into pharma, or supplements. We’re focusing most of our efforts in the food space, and really working off three different platforms. One, some of the unique things that we can find. And we have found within the supernatant of our fermentation the beer, if you will, of our fermentation, really do change flavor systems and enhance sweetness. So that’s one of our tenants is trying to get, drive sugar out of the food systems. Knowing that we overdo it right we’re very clearly overdoing the sugar system situation. The second is really providing alternative proteins. Given the population growth certainly the the meat industry is has its place, but it will not be able to state sustainably provide the protein needs of our growing planet’s population. And then the third tenet is really the inherent nutrition within mushrooms themselves as you’re so familiar, and then enhancing nutrition of other products by adding mushrooms, or mushroom products to other food systems, and then using the fermentation process of mushrooms that the amazing amount of digestive enzymes that they possess in the how they can bio transform food ingredients to make them more functional within products, so they become more acceptable. So that’s really the three areas that we feel like we’re, you know, changing the world, if you will, as you said.

Lera Niemackl 5:22
And are you guys constantly looking for other areas within food science, where you can weave in filamentous fungi? Or do you just kind of happen upon these things, and, like, you know what, we can do this better.

Jim Alderink 5:36
It’s a little of both. But you know, we’re a really partnership driven company, we work very, very hard to partner with like minded companies that really want to do some of the things that we feel like we can accomplish. As I said, a lot of our investors are big primary companies within the food industry. And they come to us with problems they may have. And they’re all looking for the most natural solutions possible. And you know, what we do is we kind of wrap stainless steel around a very natural process, and let it do its work. And so within this fermentation, we can do a lot of those things that I just talked about on the three pillars that we work on. But some of the stuff I’m most proud about is how we’re working with waste streams, taking other people’s side streams and turning it into treasure. And that’s one of the things mushrooms do best, they’re, you know, they’re sort of the custodian of the forest, if you will. They’re always cleaning up things that happen, you know, including oil spills. But we’re taking stuff like out of biofuel industry, corn and gluten meal, and working with it’s trying to make it a more value added product. And and again, something that finds its place in the value stream of the food industry.

Lera Niemackl 6:37
How long have you guys been in action? And where are you located?

Jim Alderink 6:42
Well, we kind of came out of the basement literally in 2013. Our two co founders, Jim Lange and Brooks Kelly, both doctors that were really interested in fungi for a variety of reasons, really made a bit of a mycology lab, in their basement. And they were finding some very unique properties in the things that they were doing. And that was in Aurora, Colorado. So they got in touch with a couple of business guys that had done some startups, including our CEO, Alan Han, came out and took a look at what they were doing and gave him some guidance and started to ferment things like chocolate, tea, coffee, and were really able to take out some of the bitter flavors and properties of those of those products. Even though I love bitter coffee, some people don’t. So they knew they were onto something here in this whole flavor area. And that’s where it all began. So right now we have our headquarters in Aurora, Colorado.

Alex Dorr 7:32
So let’s focus on you know, the ClearTaste™ the bitter blocker, which I’m unbelievably pumped about, especially, you know, a lot of people in the United States do not like bitter and they just dump sugar on anything and everything that tastes just a little bit bitter or, or not. They just love sugar and sugar acts in the brain, just like cocaine does. And you know, I noticed myself if I’m eating a little bit more sugar, I have my mood swings are like crazy, my energy levels dip up and down, and I start to crave it. And I am aware that I’m I’m like a drug addict, addicted to sugar. And it’s scary. And wow, I need to get myself off this so did to revolutionize the food industry in that way. Where we dump like an ungodly amount of sugar and all of our food and beverages. This is huge. So what is bitter blocker? How does it work?

Jim Alderink 8:33
Well, you know, sugar has its place. I mean anything in moderation, right? And I mean, we were given the ability to taste sweet because we are driven toward calories. And so it does have its place. But essentially, you’re right, it does have it is a bit overused and it does is used in a lot of places to cover up some of the other ingredients we like to add, you know, in the food industry right now it’s very difficult proposition you’re being asked to reduce fat and you’re we’ve asked you sugar and salt and a lot of the ingredients that that drive flavor liking and people buying it a second time. So in the meantime, you’re asked to put in like nutritional content, like proteins and fibers and minerals and vitamins and maybe even caffeine that you’re trying to drive some other interest or function. So the hands are pretty much tied by some of the food developers in the industry and I was one of them. And so bitter is one of those things that accompanies a lot of those things you put in and sugar is a great tool to cover it up, but others other ways. And our ClearTaste™ product does a great job of you know, active work on your tongue, taking that bitter receptor or 19 of the 26 bitter receptors you have and actually occupying that site as some of these bitter things are going crushed across your tongue. And that has two different values one it takes away some of that bitter but it also the other the superhighway to your brain, if you will is can only handle so much information. And when one of those senses is blocked, the other ones are a bit accentuate. So some of the other flavors within a food system that might be say you’re taking some bitter out of coffee, some of the other caramely notes and those things will come out and be more featured as you’re taking that bitter away. So it has two purposes. And we’re building a portfolio products around it. There’s lots going on in this, the supernate, and beer of our fermentation process that we’re still learning and understanding. But with our clear taste product, it’s very much able to take out a lot of those bitter containing components that are not drivers of liking and foods.

Lera Niemackl 10:24
Yeah, I have to say we actually ordered a sample from you guys. And Alex has what’s known to be the most bitter thing on the planet. And we take tiny bites of it and just let it marinate in our mouth whenever there’s we’re having indigestion or something. And so we put a blocker to the test by tasting this chewing on it, you know, we felt the familiar, overwhelming bitterness, and then took some of the bitter blocker and it went away so quickly.

Jim Alderink 10:51
Oh, that’s great. That’s great. That’s a great example. And, you know, we have many applications that we use it in, use it at a very low level, so you’re probably using at a higher level than you would have to use it. But you know, and again, I want to make sure it’s clear. And it’s not the only bitter blocker on the market. There’s other companies that are doing this. There’s flavor companies that are doing what they call FMPs sort of trick your brain a little bit all have their place. But ours is labeled natural mushroom extract, organic mushroom extract. So it’s very, as natural as you’re pretty much going to get within this I said, wrapping stainless steel around nature and letting it do its thing. And then we just freeze, spray dried and provide a power to the industry.

Lera Niemackl 11:30
Is the actual better blocker the fungus itself, or is it a metabolite that the fungus makes?

Jim Alderink 11:36
That is, that’s a great question. You nailed it. It is a metabolite it comes in as we’re fermenting our proprietary blend of substrate. So we’re putting the food in there for it, getting it doing its metabolic magic. And its metabolome, what it’s leaving behind and what its is part of what becomes ClearTaste™ the bitter blocker. So we’ve done a lot of great research our Chief Science Officer Anthony Clark has, is then an amazing about his team, they’ve done an amazing amount of research to find the exact compounds that are interacting with your your, your, your tongue, and keeping these bitter things flowing through and passed before they have an impact on your taste.

Lera Niemackl 12:15
Are you allowed to disclose the species that you use?

Jim Alderink 12:18
Yeah, we can we use cordyceps sinensis for this particular variety for for ClearTaste™. I can’t tell you the compounds it’s created because it’s a variety of different large and small molecules that are that they generate through their, like I said, the metabolic process when we get them moving that right metabolic direction. It’s more proprietary with the substrate is that we start them because remember, all of our fermentation started in a flask. And they work their way up to 6, 90 thousand liter tanks. So it looks like a big microbrewery. So you have to start very small, get these things move in the right direction. And then they can make some magic for you.

Lera Niemackl 12:53
90,000 liters!

Jim Alderink 12:54
I’ll get some good pictures. I thought I sent them to you and they sent you out but it’s a but they’re very, very large. And but again, everything starts every single one of our fermentation starts very, very small. First it has to be pharma grade sterile because mushrooms do not compete well with bacteria and yeast. They love to ferment things, bacteria and yeast but but mushrooms not not so much they need to be dominant, they need to get ahead of the curve. So everything is pharma pristine for sterile and it moves forward in steps until it gets to that large fermentation tank full of beer essentially. I’ve tasted it, it doesn’t taste as good as beer. By the way.

Alex Dorr 13:28
Is this the anamorph of the sinensis, is this paecilomyces hepelli, or the CS-4 strain?

Jim Alderink 13:38
Yes, I mean, it’s there’s a lot of contention and morphology about where these things come from remembering that acota substances is a parasitic fungi. It actually is not a fungi at all. It’s been it grows on the caterpillar of a moth. So in very specific areas of the Himalayas. So getting that and bringing that in and using it and getting the benefit of it is very expensive, up to you know, up to an over $20,000 a kilo for that material. And there’s a very finite amount available. So yes, you’re you’ve you’ve called it there’s variety of CS species that you can use, we use a CS-4 we have a very close relationship with Penn State University, where we have gotten most of our 50 plus varietals of mushrooms that we use. And then we have it’s like 23andme from fungi, we’ve got it all labeled out to the genetic codes to make sure we keep a pristine source. So all of our fermentations are very consistent. So but that particular fermentation for ClearTaste™ is a cordyceps sinensis.

Alex Dorr 14:35
That’s so great. I’m, I’m pumped that an entomopathogenic fungi or fungi that attack insects is behind this amazing work and I’m pumped, and I really for all the listeners or watchers out there. I don’t I don’t want you to get the perception that bitter is bad and bit that we’re vilifying bitter because bitter is such an important flavor, especially, you know, in the springtime when we want to get our livers up and going again. That’s why dandelion is such an amazing green to eat in the springtime, we want to reboot our systems. And it’s great after you eat too much after a meal to kick start your system again. And so there’s a place for bitter. But other places, you know, if you if you’re consuming coffee, and you don’t want to shit yourself, you might want to use less sugar, then yeah, there might be a place for for bitter blocker, which is incredible. And I think the emphasis of what is I’m so impressed about this is, is using less sugar. And I think that is huge in our society. And like you said, sugars, not bad. And there’s some many different spectrums of sweetener out there, and some are better for you than others. And, you know, you can get get honey or pure pure white sugar. And obviously, honey might be a little bit better for you, but finding ways that that can be healthier, if you’re consuming products every day on average.

Jim Alderink 16:21
Alex, that’s really well said, I mean, there’s nothing there are many of the things that are bitter that are very, very beneficial. But some people can tolerate very much less so. So and another thing I would add, as you start talking about sweeteners, some of the things that are there, we’re adding sweeteners. Now stevia for one, very natural sweetener, and other high intensity sweeteners, there might not be so natural, ClearTaste™ takes a real edge off some of the back end of that if you’ve ever eaten something with stevia in it, you get that upfront sweetener going, yes, I like this. And then you have that lingering aftertaste. Well, ClearTaste™ works really well to modulate and bring that way down. So you don’t have that long linger that becomes sort of the negative aspect of some of the stevia compounds that are out there. So but all your discussion about bitter is very true. Many things that are bitter are very, very good for you. But some people avoid them. Because they don’t like it. They’re bitter sensitive. So this adds to the impact of that.

Lera Niemackl 17:13
Yeah, I’m looking for into this being in the market. And I’m just curious about how this is actually working on the tongue. So these metabolites fit like a locking key to the bitter receptors on the tongue. And are they just sitting there basically being in the way of the other bitter flavors? And how long does it remain on the tongue? What’s what is the mechanism look like?

Jim Alderink 17:37
Yeah, that’s very, very, very good question. I mean, again, they do. They are site occupiers. These particular molecules fit very, very well into the bitter receptors. And not all of them. There’s some that are latent, and they don’t fit. But we’ve done a variety of different studies with third parties to identify what exact sites are being occupied. And the real unique thing about this mechanism is they’re they don’t hold on very long. You know, there’s a lot of them that are crossing through, because they’re quite small molecules. So they’ll occupy that site. They don’t do anything other than that, so that the other bitter products will pass over, and then move on many, but they call FMPs. They actually occupy a site then heighten that site, they heighten the site and kind of trick your brain a little bit. This is nothing like that. It’s just kind of holding it hostage for a few moments, while the bitter flavors will pass by. That’s how it works.

Lera Niemackl 18:26
I wonder if this is the strain that these people with a with the myco-basement? Did— were they working with CS-4 and they found the bitter blocker and how exactly did they find it? Were they tasting it with bitter food? And I’m just so curious about how that was actually discovered and then scaled up.

Jim Alderink 18:44
Yeah, there was a it was a you know, it was before my time but I have heard anecdotes about how they were doing it. They were doing a lot of work on something else we were looking for. They were looking for something completely different. And they were really working on tempeh. Their original work was a solid state fermentation to try to come up with a soy free tempeh, but they kept stumbling on some of this, this tongue that was doing something to their tongue. So that’s when they started really working on coffees and teas. And really the first patents that MycoTechnology has around that type of fermentation. And it was very much serendipity. They really, you know, fell into it a little bit. And when they knew something good, especially Allan Hahn and Pete Lubar, the co-founders knew they were onto something good here. So they moved it over to a couple of other different things. Especially with the tea and coffee that comes big business. And we still have a coffee that we you can put it in your coffee and you may have done this and it makes it less bitter. And like I said many people love the dark, bitter notes of coffee, but many don’t. So it was it was serendipity, Lera, barely serendipity.

Alex Dorr 19:44
So I know there’s a compound xylitol in cordyceps militaris, and we used to grow that commercially. And just digging through some research papers awhile ago because we were wondering if we should launch a pet product at one time and I remember knowing that xylitol was studied to having such a negative effect on dogs in large amounts. Obviously, it’s it’s hard to get those concentrations in, in mushrooms if you’re feeding them. So there’s a little little concern on that front, but I’m just curious if you’ve done animal trials or to see is this pet friendly? Can people you know, can, can you weave this into pet food or treats? And are you worried at all of any interactions for any animals?

Jim Alderink 20:39
Well, I would say yes, I do worry because a pet the pet food industry is not that I think there’s anything to worry about. But the pet food industry is is harder to get into than the human food industry is. So it for good reasons. So I, I’m not saying there’s anything to worry about. But we don’t choose to go that to that in that direction. Right now. We’re occupied really looking at human health. And you know, the taste factors of animals are so much different here. And again, we would probably have to look at different parts of the supernate and probably a different strain of mushroom altogether. So understanding pet the way dogs, cats, they all taste differently, things differently. And so it’s a very difficult nut to crack. So we’ve chosen to stay away from that in terms of a business opportunity.

Lera Niemackl 21:26
So you have another pretty impressive product called PureTaste™ which is a myco-protein. Could you give the 101 on that?

Jim Alderink 21:36
I sure can. It’s actually not a myco-protein. It’s a fermented pea and rice protein, myco-protein is something I always say when I’m talking to customers that I spend a great deal of time convincing people that we don’t do myco-protein per se. But by the time I got them convinced, we’ll be doing mycoprotein because it’s certainly on in our innovation pipeline to provide a mycoprotein. But what we do right now with PureTaste™ is it’s a blend of pea and rice protein that has been blended to be a complete protein. So it contains sufficient amounts of all the amino acids to have a PDCAAS of one. So like soy protein is the only other plant protein that can approach that and has that. All other plant proteins are missing some amino acid that keeps it from being complete. So we blended it to be complete. But if you’re familiar with rice, protein, pea protein, some pro pea protein as well, not as functional as you’d like them to be, and certainly not as flavorful as you need them to be for someone to buy them and then buy them again. So our fermentation process is made to augment that to change their flavor profile, their aroma profile, to make them highly acceptable, we use a shiitake mushroom in that fermentation shiitake has a lot of enzymes that are that go after woody notes and green notes and can take that out of the rice portion of that protein profile, and also make it highly digestible. So some of the things we go after our digestible ability in our proteins, minimizing anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, which you don’t produce as significantly, and then taking out bloating triggers like raffinose mustachios. Shiitake loves those guys. So big fermentation of byproduct is to take away some of those bloating sugars that cause gas and a lot of our our favorites, a plant based proteins.

Alex Dorr 23:15
So if anyone is wondering what the difference between what is liquid state fermentation and solid state fermentation, can you just give a quick definition of those two words for our listeners?

Jim Alderink 23:31
Oh, absolutely. So to be very simple, a solid state fermentation would be cheese or bread, they’re the very solid state you’re you’re working in solids, and making a tempeh is a classic solid state fermentation. And so those are not with fungi, but they’re actually taking yeast or, or molds in the case of tempeh and using them to ferment a substrate in a solid mass. A liquid state fermentation is your classic alcohol, beer, wine. But that is the you know, even kefir, if you want to go to kombucha, those are all liquid fermentations. So, so it’s a very liquid system. Very, very different than solid state like cheese or bread.

Lera Niemackl 24:13
So shiitake seems like an all star for your purposes. But how did you land on shiitake? And did you look up their — it’s chemical profiles and all the things that likes to eat and thought to yourself, oh, these are all the things we don’t want in our rice and peas. This is a great one, or did you have a bunch of trial runs me? How did you find this perfect match?

Jim Alderink 24:35
You know, I’d love to say that we knew exactly the algorithm and all of that, but there’s a lot of trial and error in there. And you know, you do know you take a look and we really have like I said 52 different mushrooms but we really rely on the mushrooms of immortality that we really take a look at those very very, very closely. So you know the cordyceps is always in there but shiitake has some very, very unique properties and how it denatures protein and how it can move it around. So it’s not going it’s not truly a protein eating machine, it doesn’t really go and consume the protein. But it has the mechanisms to go in and move things around to get what it wants. And in doing so, it creates smaller chains of protein. So if I use an alphabet analogy, it would take big words and make them smaller words, you know, going from big poly peptides to smaller peptides, so your body has an easier time digesting it. And in getting inside of that, it’s taking away some of the high levels of off flavor containing components. So when you looked at shiitake, you kind of knew it was going to work, but you don’t always know. So we start with the ones we know can grow the fastest, because we need to be able to get this thing out the door. But there’s no magic yet. We’ve got to figure it all out. We’re still working through all the you know, by trial and error creating that algorithm that will guide us to the proper mushroom type to go for.

Alex Dorr 25:52
And i’m guessing that the uses is infinite. I’m guessing you haven’t locked in on a specific products like tempeh, for example, I’m guessing the world is your oyster. If you want to use a different mushroom species, you can if you want to blend it into a powder and put it into a protein powder. You can you know the whatever. People, whatever companies buy this this product for? Are you specifically trying to be a wholesaler and sell the raw ingredient for other companies? Are you trying to make a brand product?

Jim Alderink 26:33
Well, we’re kind of b2b, right? Right now we’re working with big, big companies that need to, like I said, add an inherent nutrition to their products, or solve a problem, like if they’ve got a protein need, and they just are not getting the right protein functionality. We’ll work on that if they have all flavors that are being developed. We work we work on that. So but you’re right, there are an infinite amount of possibilities. When you have 50 plus mushroom strains and an infinite amount of substrates for them to ferment, you can come up with a lot of things. So focus is critical for us to make sure that we are working on the right problems. So that’s why we’re staying b2b. We really want to work with businesses that are going to go to consumers not that we haven’t looked at models to go direct to consumer but right now we’re sticking with the business to business and partnering to make sure that we’re our fermentation and the value of our fermentation is being seen in their products.

Alex Dorr 27:23
I’m so happy you’re doing this. I’m— we did the farming for the cordyceps militaris mushrooms and we didn’t use the mycelium growing on the rice. But we would cook it up a lot of times as I mean it’s basically tempeh and if anyone doesn’t know what tempeh is, it’s like think of a really seedy bread. But instead of the bread, it’s mycelium, which is the roots of the mushroom, or the roots of the mushroom are growing over, you know, typically, you know, you’re going to use— what is tempeh? Soy bean?

Lera Niemackl 27:59
Soy. Soy with rhizopus mold.

Alex Dorr 28:02
Right. Yeah. And so it’s you know, it’s a great protein for vegans, it’s an alternative to tofu. Tofu, it’s kind of squishy. Tempeh is pretty hard. And on top of that, it was it was functional as medicinal. So it’s great. It was a it was a great functional food. And I always wanted to see a company take this and run with it for the CPG market because I we’re in the middle of a shroom boom. And I think we have our supplement hats on. But I knew I didn’t want to get into the food space anytime soon. And so I’m really excited to see you guys blast off and put mushrooms in the spotlight and every single type of food and beverage out there. And this is something I just went to a medicinal mushroom conference in Nantong, China in the fall, it was awesome seeing the innovation and in a lot of their products I saw I think my favorite was cordyceps soy sauce. And it’s like yeah, if you’re gonna eat soy sauce, on a daily basis, maybe multiple times a day, just weave in all these different functional mushrooms and I’m sure it had, it changed the taste profile as well. And, and so you not only have, you know the functional ingredients, but you’re changing the taste. And I think this is the future of the CPG industry of, you know, adaptogens functional foods. I mean, these buzz words are, are undeniably present in our consumerism. And we’re going we’re trending towards more clean, more eco friendly. And I just want to step back a little bit to the bitter blocker. This is certified organic, right?

Jim Alderink 29:47
It doesn’t have to be but it can be we we have organic capabilities. And about half what we sell is organic. So it doesn’t always have to be some people like to save some costs and go for a non organic variety but we have organic natural, organic mushroom extracts so we can sell.

Lera Niemackl 30:02
So exciting.

Jim Alderink 30:04
I really do think I just wanted to add that, you know, I think China, the South and Southeast Asia is is miles ahead in terms of their understanding of adaptogenic herbs, and especially mushrooms and teas and that type of thing. It’s starting to catch on COVID-19. Not very much positive you can say about it, but except for maybe the awareness factor for about immunity, and how important immuno boosting ingredients can be. And that’s good for both of our companies, isn’t it?

Lera Niemackl 30:27
Right. Yeah, truly. And for everyone, you know, because immunity isn’t something you just address when you need to, it should be like a consistent regime. So I want to go back to the shiitake, because when I first read that in your white paper, I thought, of course your talk is delicious. But you don’t fruit, the mushroom, right? Or do you? Or could you? And can you taste or notice any of the umami properties that you get into shiitake in this product? I mean, it depends on the protein because I could envision a protein powder for your smoothie, and I would not want any shiitake-umami going on. But if it was a some sort of textured protein to make faux meat tacos or something this seems ideal.

Jim Alderink 31:11
Right? Right. Well, you know, shiitake is an interesting one, because you can drive the umami up in that if you choose to. Depends on the food system, we’re going after if we’re going into meat products, and that’s a great vehicle for this because you know, a lot of them are looking for differentiation. It’s a very busy space right now. It’s a huge market and growing. And but it’s everybody’s kind of looking at it now as copycat because everybody’s all entering that market, you would do food types, but we bring the ability to have a fermented protein in there. So we would want to drive umami in that case and can but you don’t have to, if I’m going into the dairy industry, which is another large, you know, area of opportunity for for us. We don’t. And so there’s different processing techniques we can use to take out some of that, that flavor, or make sure that we accentuate that. So it’s depends on the process. There’s much going on after fermentation. And just to go to your question, there’s no fruit, or fruiting body at all, what we do, the only mushrooms you see is if somebody brings them in for lunch, or we’ve got pictures on all of our walls of every mushroom you can possibly think of so we really do work below the surface. You know, the the mycelia is just absolutely— it’s like the internet for mushrooms. There’s been many beautiful sights I’m sure you guys have seen, have gone on YouTube, this just amazing. Fantastic Fungi is one I always go to watch. It’s so fascinating. These guys are communicating, they are the largest organisms on the planet, it’s all beneath their feet. So that’s what we use. We use the mycelia, we do not get to fruiting body.

Alex Dorr 32:42
The World Wide Web.

Jim Alderink 32:45
I like that.

Alex Dorr 32:47
So if we were to make a How It’s Made episode for your mycomeat, I’m sure there’s a lot of proprietary information and you can’t give away everything. But what can you tell us if you’re going to walk through each step of what does it look like are we are these big stainless steel reactors are they trays, bags, kind of gives someone a visual from home of how this looks like.

Jim Alderink 33:11
Well, you can actually go two different directions, you can go back to a solid state fermentation and you can see many out there you can search that and you’ll see people that are going after meat in that way, we use our we use our liquid fermentation or submerged fermentation to create the protein that we’re going to put into a texturized version. So we then have to make that into a texture. So you make these globular proteins, you know, that are ready and they’re complete, and they’re just ready to do their thing, then you have to go back and you have to take them through an extrusion process to give them a texturization, which is very similar to what they do in the soy industry. And then after that, it’s kind of blended like everybody can go out and type beyond meat or impossible. And there’s going to be a YouTube video about how they make their meat. We’re not too dissimilar from that we don’t try to make it bleed, we don’t try to do anything like that, you know, we’re trying to just make it natural and amazing taste and then have that added functional value of fermentation that brings to the solubility of the protein that holds fat, and water better see a better yield when you make your product. And then when you eat it after you’ve cooked it, it holds its fat and water like real meat well, and so you’re actually getting the lubricity in your mouth so it creates a better eating experience. So really, it’s I’m not the process of making these burgers, isn’t that much of a magic? It’s what happens before that when that raw material gets to the manufacturer. That’s where we add our value in terms of the fermentation.

Alex Dorr 34:34
Are you exploring different species like chicken of the woods, for example, if you cook that, right, it tastes exactly like chicken. I don’t I’m not too experienced with eating the mycelium of the species. So I don’t know how well these kind of compounds come through in the mycelium in terms of the flavor or like shrimp of the woods or lobster mushroom or beef steak. I mean all these different Meat alternatives in the woods that you just pick. Do these flavors really come through in the mycelium? And are you exploring different kind of alternatives to fish and beef and all these things?

Jim Alderink 35:14
Oh, yeah, that’s, that’s a great growth area for us. I mean, it isn’t just about beef, but you know, you go to chicken next and pork, and certainly, you’re going to go off into the seafood space, very flexible species, all the mushrooms are very flexible, and you just described a lot of them. Really, the mycelium itself doesn’t have always the same flavor characteristics as what you’d get when you get the fruiting body. A lot happens, you know what to think when it goes to fruit. So there’s a very different reaction, it’s kind of pulling other things out of the soil, that make it have a different flavor profile, and really mycelium until you process it for the you wouldn’t really want to eat it. It’s kind of a it’s really difficult to describe, it’s very loose, almost my grouping of microscopic fibers, especially in the liquid state fermentation, solid state, little different story. But liquid state fermentation where we get our PureTaste™ is very different. It is not the most appealing thing to eat. It’s like a hydrocolloid, if you know what that is, and so it’s kind of holding a lot of water in a small amount of mass of solids. So I wouldn’t suggest that we’re going to go compete with fruiting bodies soon at all, it’s the other stuff that we can extract from it, the beer around it, what it’s done and left behind as it’s fermented a substrate is what we’re very interested in. That’s what we’re most interested in.

Lera Niemackl 36:28
So sorry, I’m trying to access the white paper, because I remember reading something about there is some bit about it being able to bind to oils and playing with the lipid profiles of the product. Could you talk a bit about that?

Jim Alderink 36:44
Yeah, when you’re more soluble in its its forms a bit of an emulsification isn’t gel. So this is not a protein that gels it kind of congeals in congealing, you’re kind of grabbing fat, it’s hydro, hydrophilic. And it’s pulling the fat in. So it holds the fat that was what I was trying to describe, when I was talking about it, you know, holding on to it in a food system. So if you take a burger off shelf, and you really on the grill, or if you put it on a pan, you’re going to get a lot of fat that’s going to be left in the pan or on the grill. This particular product grabs that fat holds on to it. So it’s through emulsification, so that during the cooking process or during processing, it’s kind of gripped it a little bit bonded it so that it stays in the food system. So it’s a it’s a very unique, the solubility for fat holds two times its weight in fat. And it holds about the same in water a little bit more than that in water. So very unique properties that are developed by mushroom mycelial fermentation.

Alex Dorr 37:37
And what about the bitter blockers that soluble in oil water? What are the applications that you first see people using thatwith?

Jim Alderink 37:47
Yeah, it’s mainly water soluble, we’re putting it in more CPG usable forms, we’ve got three or four different ideas at this, we’ve got three products on the market now that are all different, mainly, the cpgs don’t like to use things in parts per million. And that’s literally what ClearTaste™ is used in. So we’ve got some forms, you know, both in natural forms one with a multi dextran carrier that allows cpgs to put it into form. So not oil soluble, completely water soluble, 99.6% ish soluable. So a very great, and a lot, everybody uses water in their food systems. So that’s where that goes. And remembering that ClearTaste™, PureTaste™ is everything, we ferment it and you you sprayed out everything, we’re ClearTaste™ the bitter blocker, you pull the biomass off, and you only use the beer. So it’s like straining off the yeast at the bottom of a beer, you’re going to only use the supernate. And that’s the fluid that’s around it. So it’s very different fermentations from very different organisms.

Lera Niemackl 38:42
I feel like the implications of this are so massive, if there’s several million species of fungi, and we haven’t even discovered what 5% of them? And just seeing the potential that they have for food science and you you work with 50 some That’s a lot. But there’s so many more to work with. It’s exciting to see how else and what else that they can do for for this industry.

Jim Alderink 39:08
Well, I think I think it’s beyond just the food industry, right? I mean, if you look at psilocybin and psychotropic mushrooms, there’s so much going on there and so much yet to be discovered so many great applications for that in pharma. And again, you know, you talk about all the different mushrooms, there’s so many inedible. Well, all mushrooms are edible, but some only once because of their poisons. But there’s so much to be discovered even in the poisons, varieties of mushrooms, they may be poisonous to us, but they can add value in so many different ways. So it’s you know, it’s just a burgeoning industry. We’ve got so much left to learn and put it put it this way people been eating mushrooms for 7000 plus years, probably longer than that, but studying their effects as adaptogens you know, for 7000 years. So we only know a tiny amount of what we’re going to know and MycoTechnology. We’re working hard to understand that even more thoroughly.

Lera Niemackl 39:59
So, when psilocybin is legal, does MycoTechnology have any conversation or plans to enter into manufacturing anything?

Jim Alderink 40:08
You know, we’re always watching that space. I mean, because we’re near Denver, and in Denver, you can actually legally buy that type of a mushroom. So it’s only in Denver, we are in Aurora, we can’t actually do it. But if we decided to move into that space, we certainly have a head start to be able to do so. But right now we’ve made a conscious choice as again, I’ve said several times that we have to focus otherwise we’d be everywhere trying to do everything and getting nothing done. So we can do, we can do anything. But we can’t do everything.

Alex Dorr 40:39
I just want to butt in there, its decriminalized, so you can’t actually buy it. I just don’t want it. To, to be like “Alright, I’m gonna go buy it!” and then get arrested.

Jim Alderink 40:53
It is well, I wouldn’t be an expert in that space. That’s for sure.

Alex Dorr 40:56
Yeah, it’s decriminalized. So it’s the lowest priority for police. So technically, maybe you can cultivate for personal use, but the second they use your your buying or selling. It’s illegal, but it’s still technically federally illegal. And even if you’re growing, you could still probably get busted. There was some some one that was busted. And it still happens. So tread lightly, and you don’t have full immunity.

Jim Alderink 41:29
Yeah, well, I definitely wasn’t sponsoring a pilgrimage to Denver or anything like that. But it certainly I don’t I don’t know everything about it. But I do know that it’s around, especially industrially, there’s a lot of people that have to work with it that are doing it for for the right reasons. And especially for its impact. You know, in pharma there’s a lot of and it’s more and more news coming out of that all the time, it’s very interesting to watch how quickly it will develop,

Alex Dorr 41:51
what would you say is your most exciting project? Or maybe you haven’t even gotten to it yet, but and I don’t know how much you can disclose, but what brings you the most joy? And, you know, working for MycoTechnology? What are you super excited about?

Jim Alderink 42:09
Well, I mean, it’s really the people, I always love to be around the people that are there, everybody is so passionate about what we’re doing. I mean, we’re all junior mycologists whether we want want to be or not, I mean, you walk in the door, and you can’t help but just soak it all in. But I love the fact that I mentioned this earlier about some of the waste streams that we’re working to, to find add value, try to add value to I think that’s you know, how much food gets wasted. It’s amazing and off the charts while people are starving. And you know, the malnutrition aspect of things. I think adding inherent nutrition to products, malnutrition goes both directions, as we all know, it goes under calories and people starve and we have people that are obese and have too many calories, it’s because they’re they’re not getting the nutrition they need from the calories that they consume at the right diet level. So that makes me excited. There’s there’s great things going on with mycoprotein itself, being able to get the levels up in certain species, you know, using like advanced gene editing techniques, which is not GMO, but trying to find ways to create mutations in mushrooms to create quality protein at higher level. So that can become a commercially viable protein. And you know that that’s exciting. And then you know, there’s all kinds of aspects on sweetness. Many mushroom species are have a sweetness profile, that we would love to find a way to be the next stevia if it was possible. So there’s there’s loads of work going on in that space.

Alex Dorr 43:30
I’m sure it hasn’t been easy. Especially you’re doing a lot of new technology. And I’m sure it’s constant RnD. And things eventually go wrong. Inevitably. Especially We’re in COVID. Things are crazy. But if you’re you know, this is a whole startup that is doing brand new, world changing technology, what would you say is maybe there’s one moment that was kind of the hardest, the darkest night that you had to persevere through? Or maybe there was a few maybe there’s still something that that is you grit your teeth and are trying to get through? What would you say that is?

Jim Alderink 44:13
What I mean, the obvious one is COVID-19. I think it hit us at a point in time, in spite of the fact that we could raise a lot of money to get traction into going from B to C as we do or go to going from b2b as we do in the b2c customers. So if you think about grocery and retail innovation is slow to almost zero. People are just buying the things that they bought that make them comfortable. We’re all doing that. And I think so the innovation pipelines of many of the companies that we’re being providing product to have come to a halt whilst we’re in that pipeline, trying to get ourselves to market and get ourselves exposed. So that has definitely been a headwind for us and a lot of other ingredient companies that are trying to create added value products right now. Why would a big company like Kellogg, be interested in doing innovation when they’re having trouble making and keeping their products on the shelf. And that’s the case for all of the big food companies. So that has been the overall headwind, I think, you know, you mentioned something about research, there’s a lot of back to the drawing board. But our researchers, our r&d department are very much used to that. There’s a lot of trial and error. And every time we find something that seems like a failure, we find through serendipity that we’ve got some kind of success in it. So that balances out the scales with the COVID-19 issues that we’ve encountered, and hopefully that’ll soon be behind us.

Alex Dorr 45:31
It’s funny, because RnD is one of my favorite things on the planet, I love to just push the envelope and just keep growing and evolving. And just getting into the technology and just what is possible, and how do we make it better? That is what really fills me up with with passion and joy of what I’m doing. It’s like, Okay, we got to this plateau. What’s the next one? And and how can we go to the next level to help people and like, how can I blow people’s minds in the next way? And yeah, we’re still young. But it’s funny, you said that, you know, a lot of food companies, innovation has come to a stop, because we’re actively now, you know, one of the most innovative times that we’ve had, and we’re constantly, you know, we have a few projects that we’ll talk after about, which I think you guys can help us out a ton. But yeah, I’d say, especially in these times, if we don’t innovate, we’re dead. I think anytime, if we don’t innovate, we’re dead. But in terms of, if it’s a massive, catastrophic world, change or event, if we don’t evolve and adapt and innovate, we’re dead. And we’re seeing that so crucially, now, in this moment, and, and I think now more than ever, it’s like, okay, you know, accept now. And how do we, how do we stay flexible, and that can be so hard for so many people. And we count our blessings every day, we’re, we’re blessed that we’re mostly ecommerce, we’re mostly online. So we weren’t hit that hard. And we have products that help support immune system. And yeah, energy and brain focus and and overall health and wellness, which is what people are wanting right now. So we guys, super, super lucky. And but that doesn’t stop us from innovating. We’re not getting comfortable.

Jim Alderink 47:42
That’s good. I mean, inside of every every crisis is opportunity. And then after every crisis is greater opportunity. So we see it all ahead of us the headwinds are slowing, companies are getting back online that many of the companies you know, so right now, when we make products and applications, we literally send them to people’s houses. And we do what’s called tele tasting with them. So we review our work with them in that way. That’ll keep going, there’s going to do so there’s some real positives about that. So we try to find our opportunities, you guys were right in the right spot, maybe at the right time. It’s sad to say use COVID-19 for that, but it’s you were in a great spot anyway. So you should be very pleased. And I think you’re on the right track.

Alex Dorr 48:18
And you just got funding, right? You just got $40 million. Is that correct? No. And was that from Kellogg or another?

Jim Alderink 48:28
Oh, no, no, a variety of investors a variety of sad public information, it’s out there, I won’t share any but it’s there’s a variety of different investors, this is very lucrative space. It’s obviously not a lot of people doing it. So it’s white space from an investment perspective. And most of our investors understand the possibilities. So there’s a great deal of you know, they want to make money, that’s what they want to do. And they see MycoTechnology as an avenue to that, given the fact that we’re in the same space as community spaces is lucrative for us in a huge opportunity, the value added that we create through our fermentation. And the magic we make with the ingredients that we’re providing is certainly showcasing itself as an opportunity to make money from an investment perspective.

Alex Dorr 49:09
I think you have a really interesting perspective on mushrooms, especially your background with Kellogg’s and seeing the whole CPG space from a very wide angle, and very in depth.

Jim Alderink 49:23
Thank you,

Alex Dorr 49:25
And your work now with MycoTechnology. I think you’re really innovating on a incredible in an incredible way for people out there maybe listening who are inspired to create their own business or, you know, quit their job and devote their life to mushrooms. How, what advice do you have for people who you know want to weave their passion for mushrooms and make a living at the same time?

Jim Alderink 49:57
That’s a good question. I think you know, I’m not a mycologist. But you know, in the last 18 months with MycoTechnology, I’ve become kind of a junior one. The only way I could say I was a mycologist was the fact that I love hunting morel mushrooms for like two weeks in the spring. But I think what it takes is a passion, you just have to have to have a passion for it. You really need to have intellectual curiosity because this can go so many different directions. We’ve talked a lot about food today. But there’s so much research and development going on in pharma in, you know, biofuels, the way mushrooms interact with the environment, the things they can do, how they communicate. So there’s so much to go. You know, I think it’s going to take some school, I think, you know, there’s great universities, like I mentioned Penn State University and their mycology department. But I think the core is just to have a passion for it. And really the intellectual curiosity to break down the barriers that exists now. Because once we get beyond them, there’s nothing I’m telling you. There’s nothing that fungi can’t do. Like I said, whether it’s making a button for your shirt or soles for your shoes, or packing material or food or it can do it all. And we’ve only scratched the surface. So I think that passion will lead us a lot of places.

Lera Niemackl 51:07
I was just attending a mushroom and biotechnology webinar yesterday and there were four panelists, one was working on food coloring, one was working on yeast fermentation. One was a scientist at MycoWorks, so they’re making the mycelium leather. The applications are seemingly endless, and they it seems like these mushrooms can be weaved into so many different departments of work in general. And with that in mind, who do you look up to in the mushroom biotechnology space?

Jim Alderink 51:41
Ah, well, that’s a good one that I didn’t really think about. I mean, I have to say, the first two people that I think of you know, are Jim Lange and and Brooks Kelley, from my own organizations, the two founders of our company, because, again, their intellectual curiosity and their passion got us to where we are today. I mean, there are people out there. And I don’t like to call them influencers. They like to be called advocates. You know, like the Paul Stamets of the world. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Paul or not. You’ve got Alan Rockefeller who’s doing so much DNA work. I don’t know if you know, Alan, but boy, does that guy have a prolific background, the what he’s doing in genetics is off the charts. And then you guys, this another guy called Gordon Walker, who I’m just getting my myself acquainted with. And this these guys are so passionate, and you know, enthusiasm is the most contagious thing on the planet. And they just, they sell it so well. So I just love working with these types of guys. And those are the guys that really inspire me. And again, I, I have to cite our CEO at MycoTechnology, Allen Han, you know, his vision again, here are the vision to see beyond the fact that they were making tempeh and all the things we can do with this mushroom fermentation technology. So that’s just a few names. I could go further, but those are my guys.

Lera Niemackl 52:56
If you want to play with mushrooms in your basement, you absolutely should. And document it. And yeah, don’t be surprised if you turn up into a successful startup.

Jim Alderink 53:06
I just hired someone to do business development work at MycoTechnology. And her roommate in Denver is doing these beautiful pink, pink oyster mushrooms. I mean, she took pictures, I put them in my presentations. They’re so beautiful. So mushrooms have an inherent beauty to them. They have an ugliness, some of them have a kind of an ugliness to them, but I see nothing but beauty.

Alex Dorr 53:26
I always tell people if they want to get into fungi or the world of mycology, you can be the first in the field for any route you take. And for people just getting into it once they get over that gap of shedding their mycophobia. If they’re, you know, they don’t have ancestors or not from a culture where they embrace mushrooms, you know, come from a culture where it’s mycophobic a lot of people who have many generations here in the States, I mean it we’re pretty mycophobic here we have a rejection to anything mushrooms, either it’s the slimy smelly ones on your pizza, or foot fungus or ones that don’t trip you out or kill you or you know, or moldy oranges or something like that. It’s it’s really, for most people, they have a natural aversion. There’s other culture like you know, we interview a lot of people from you know, that went foraging with their, their grandpa in Eastern Europe. And for dinner every night they they went out and brought six different species on the table and so really depends where you’re coming from but for people just getting in the scene, just like you said in the beginning, it’s like wow, it can clean up an oil spill. It can be the soles of your shoes, it can be a bitter blocker that can that can replace sugar or Lower the sugar amount it can be, you know, the number one cancer drug in Japan, it could be all these different things. And so people I feel like people are like, where do I even start? There’s so much everything there. Are there the answer to all our problems in the world really. And I always tell people, it doesn’t even matter. You can if it whatever you pick, we have barely scratched the surface of anything fungi or mushroom related so just pick something throw a dart on the on the wall blindfolded. And if you dedicate even just a few years, you can do something that is first in the field, and totally revolutionized the world of mycology very easily and and we all need it we need more mycowarriors coming out and dedicating their lives and getting super passionate about it. We need more Alan Rockefellers, Paul Stamets and Gordon Walker’s and more, you know, we need more people who are just obsessed with the world of mushrooms. And that’s kind of why we made this podcast is to bring on people like you and other experts, that we can say, hey, there, there are so many possibilities out there. And it’s even giving me goosebumps just saying that. I mean, mushrooms are awesome. They and they are this. They’re the humble stewards of our forests. They’re, they’re humble. And they don’t, a lot of times, they don’t even take the spotlight, and we have to really coax them out of their underground. And and really, once we shine the spotlight on them, it’s it’s infinite, the possibilities that they like. So thank you for thank you for the work that you’re doing it really appreciate it.

Jim Alderink 56:49
You’re welcome. And we’ve only scratched like we’ve only scratched the surface of MycoTechnology. So just wait and see.

Lera Niemackl 56:56
Yeah, it’s good to know that there are some bioreactors in the United States that are working with filamentous fungi, because that is a very rare thing on this continent. So this leads to my last question, our last question, which is if mushrooms had the microphone, it could say one thing to the whole human race. What do you think they would say?

Jim Alderink 57:16
Yeah, that’s when I would have to think about I’m glad he kind of gave me a bit of forewarning about that. I think in my business, I think I would probably say that they would say something like, don’t be super superficial, I might be ugly, but below the surface, I’m really something magic, because I deal with the below the surface part of the mushroom, you know, the stuff, the mycelia that’s underneath. So I think all mushrooms who want you to be very clear that that you know, underneath are amazing. So because you know, there are some very hideous looking mushrooms. Are they all beautiful to me, like I said, but some people look at them and they go, Oh, they’re so ugly. But I think you know, and they I want them to also say if they would say is I’m not just food. I’m not just food, I’m so much more than that you don’t you know, you don’t have to eat me, there’s so much more than I do. So if they grabbed the microphone, I think it would be all about what’s happening below the surface, you might, you know, the fact is fruiting bodies of mushrooms are just days, they’re most of them anyway, have very short lifespans for you to see. But they’re always underneath the surface. They’d want you to know that.

Alex Dorr 58:20
There’s this Zen concept of, you know, if you look at a table, you see beyond the table, and you see the tree, you see the life of the lumberjack, you see the food that he or she put on their table, you see the nutrients going into the tree, you see the rain, you see. And before you know it you see the the beauty of the universe in a table. And the same thing happens with mushrooms is once you shed those beliefs or kind of filters that you put on you see this the beauty of the universe and we had this really funny experience recently where we have this outdoor compost bin and one day we open up the lid and we see all these little grubs and like these little maggot worms in there and we’re like immediately grossed out. I mean, it’s like, there’s tons of them. Like em, we’re like not expecting it super surprise. And for the average person that’s pretty gross. It’s not something that we admire in our culture. And and we did some research we found out their soldier fly larva, and they’re amazing for compost. And most people are grossed out by compost but coming from I used to be a farmer of plants and so soil is so just incredible for the fungi so it’s comes full circle, and to have rich soil is so important. And so now we have a total like association switch now they’re like, you know, we look up to have these little guys in our bin, and I actually look forward, you know, if I don’t finish a meal or, you know, something gets pushed to the back of the fridge and we forget about it, and it gets a little moldy before it’s like, oh, no, like, we’re wasting food. And now it’s like, wow, we can give food to these guys. Or, or, you know, these these soldier fly larva. And so it’s this, this, it brings me joy, and it’s really funny. It’s like this, it’s association switch.

Jim Alderink 1:00:30
You know, I was gonna tell you though, your, your composting, there’s your solid state fermentation right there, there. I mean, that’s a perfect example of an amazing solid state fermentation. So with a little help from your your soldier fly friends.

Alex Dorr 1:00:43
Right, and I challenge everyone to learn more about fungi. And if you’re listening to this, or watching this, you’re already you’re already in it. Good luck trying to get out of it. You’re ready next year, it’ll be hard. It’s gonna be hard and keep going, you know, times get tough, they’ll get confusing, but keep going. Mushrooms have a lot of the answers. So with that, where can people find you follow your work? If, you know, find some of your products? How can people maybe get in touch with you? or anybody else in your team?

Jim Alderink 1:01:19
Yeah, well, you know, right through our website, like I said, at the very beginning, we’re reworking what we’re doing right now on our website, because things are moving so quickly in mycology, and for MycoTechnology. So our website will be brand new by the time December rolls around, but I would go in that avenue, there’s so many ways to link to us from that particular space, my contact information is out there. And certainly you can find some of our experts, our scientists out there where you can contact. So just google MycoTechnology, you’re gonna find us we pop up first. So, you know, we’re very proud of how we’re growing. You know, we’re proud of our investors, and we’re proud of how we’re impacting a variety of different industries. So please reach out.

Lera Niemackl 1:01:55
Yeah, I’ll have a lot of that in the show notes. And I’ll include the white papers as well.

Jim Alderink 1:02:01
Excellent. I would suggest we just rewrote several of them based upon some new varieties I would I would make sure that we give you the the brand new updated versions.

Lera Niemackl 1:02:09
Okay, I’ll make sure to do come publish time.

Alex Dorr 1:02:13
Okay, and welcome everyone to a sugar vilified world that is

Jim Alderink 1:02:21
to say too much bad about sugar. I mean, sugar still serves a purpose, doesn’t it?

Alex Dorr 1:02:25
Right. Thank you, everyone, for tuning in, shrooming in with us. We really appreciate it and we are open if you want to reach out if you have any future topics that you want us to talk about or future guests that you want us to bring on our show. Please reach out or if you just want to say hi, chat about mushrooms, we are all always free. And love to chat about mushrooms and thank you everyone for tuning in. If you are if you’re listening from Apple podcasts or any platform, please leave a review whatever is genuine to you. And tell your friends about mushrooms and the mushroom podcast and subscribe. We love you much love and may the spores be with you.

Jim Alderink 1:03:11
Go myco!