Ovalbumin production using Trichoderma reesei culture and low-carbon energy could mitigate the environmental impacts of chicken-egg-derived ovalbumin

Natasha Järviö, Tuure Parviainen, Netta-Leena Maljanen, Yumi Kobayashi, Lauri Kujanpää, Dilek Ercili-Cura, Christopher P. Landowski, Toni Ryynänen, Emilia Nordlund, Hanna Tuomisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Ovalbumin (OVA) produced using the fungus Trichoderma reesei (Tr-OVA) could become a sustainable replacement for chicken egg white protein powder—a widely used ingredient in the food industry. Although the approach can generate OVA at pilot scale, the environmental impacts of industrial-scale production have not been explored. Here, we conducted an anticipatory life cycle assessment using data from a pilot study to compare the impacts of Tr-OVA production with an equivalent functional unit of dried chicken egg white protein produced in Finland, Germany and Poland. Tr-OVA production reduced most agriculture-associated impacts, such as global warming and land use. Increased impacts were mostly related to industrial inputs, such as electricity production, but were also associated with glucose consumption. Switching to low-carbon energy sources could further reduce environmental impact, demonstrating the potential benefits of cellular agriculture over livestock agriculture for OVA production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature food
Pages (from-to)1005–1013
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 415 Other agricultural sciences
  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)
  • cellular agriculture
  • food
  • ovalbumin
  • Trichoderma reesei
  • egg white powder
  • LCA
  • environmental impact
  • energy
  • land use
  • water use
  • Global warming potential

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