Are Mushrooms the Key to Lowering Sugar Content in Food?

Researchers discover fungi molecules that can block bitter tastes

Blocking bitter tastes decreases the dependence on sugar to make food taste better. 

Researchers at MycoTechnology may have the solution the food industry needs to cut sugar content in packaged food without compromising taste.

To do this, the company utilizes mycelium, “the vegetative part of a fungus root system found in soil,” which is dried, crushed into a fine powder, and mixed into food products while being processed, Quartz reported.

Mycelium, which is flavorless, blocks naturally occurring bitter flavors from the taste buds, thus keeping people from tasting bitterness.

“What we’ve done is create something that’s totally the opposite of a masking agent,” said Alan Hahn, CEO and co-founder of MycoTechnology. “We created a bitter blocker.”

Since mycelium is one of many FDA-approved ingredients that falls under the category of “natural flavors,” Hanh said consumers that eat a product containing MycoTechnology’s mycelium wouldn’t even know it.

The company is working with yogurt companies on their products, including fruit cup sweeteners that often contain high-fructose corn syrup. MycoTechnology is also working with GLG Life Tech, a large producer of stevia, to block the bitter aftertaste of the sweetener.


Check out our roundup of the countries that consume the most sugar.