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OIA launches project to produce alternative protein from dates

20 Feb 2022 OIA launches project to produce alternative protein from dates By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Focusing on its role in attracting foreign investments and advanced technologies to the sultanate, Oman Investment Authority (OIA) has signed an agreement with US-based MycoTechnology to establish a company called Vital Foods Technologies that will produce alternative protein utilising Omani dates.

Vital Foods Technologies will produce mushroom-based protein using dates as the main element, in collaboration with international partners, predominantly MycoTechnology.

This partnership came on the heels of OIA’s investment in MycoTechnology, founded in 2013. It is a leading US food biotechnology company focused on production of alternative protein and sugarreduction ingredients. The company has successfully established a fermentation technology platform producing a variety of ingredients which address some of the food industry’s most pressing challenges.

The partnership was announced at the Future of Food event organised by OIA and MycoTechnology to introduce the prospects of the project for which several techno-economic studies have been conducted.

The event witnessed the formal signing between OIA and MycoTechnology to establish Vital Foods Technologies, and was attended by several senior government officials, corporate leaders, representatives of companies and funds investing in the food sector, and MycoTechnology representatives.

OIA is trying to enhance food security, achieve national sufficiency and attract international expertise to local projects. Results of the partnership will help achieve economic diversity, create direct and indirect job opportunities and create opportunities for Omani SMEs, according to a press release.

“This innovative project represents the benefits OIA can reap from international investments. After attracting international partners to establish their projects in Oman, advanced modern technologies can be transferred to the country,” said Ibrahim al Eisri, director of private equity at OIA.

“Oman produces about 400mn MT of dates a year, and over 50 per cent of it is not suitable to serve as table dates which can be made available to produce mushroom protein,” said Alan Hahn, CEO and founder of MycoTechnology.

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