Development and Screening of Novel Fungal Strains for Exploitation in the Food Industry

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Life Sciences

Abstract

Fungi are used to produce a number of foodstuffs. This often involves the use of long-established strains, because it has proved difficult to produce new, improved strains for many species. However, we have developed a technology allowing us to sexually cross certain fungi used in the food industry and shown that this results in the generation of offspring with enhanced properties for use in food production. This includes production of strains with pleasurable novel flavours and appearance, and lowered toxin content. We now plan to take these strains and screen and develop them for commercial exploitation. We also plan to make more crosses to generate offspring with other favourable features, such as higher enzyme activity and growth rate that might reduce manufacturing costs. All the novel strains will be screened in food production trials in collaboration with food industry partners, with taster panels used to test and confirm the appeal of the new strains and related food products.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Through research funded in this award we were able to complete key aspects of work associated with the development and screeing of new strains of the fungus Penicillium roqueforti for use in the food industry. As a result a series of potential new strains, derived from the sexual crossing technology developed under previous BBSRC work, were tested for characteristics such as flavour, mycotoxin content, and growth rate. The best new strains were then used in cheese production trials and were subject to blind taste trials. These revealed at least 6 new strains that scored very favourably and have been taken forward for commercial exploitation.
Exploitation Route The strains developed under the work have been patent registered by the University of Nottingham. A start-up company (Myconeos Ltd) was then launched in summer 2018 to commercially produce and market the novel strains, under licence from the University of Nottingham.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Retail

 
Description As explained elsewhere in the submission, work completed in this research award has led to the identification of a series of novel fungal strains that show great promise for use in the commercial food/dairy sector for production of blue cheeses with improved flavours over those currently available. Linked to this, a start-up company Myconeos (https://myconeos.com/) has been formed, with the remit to produce, market and further develop the moulds using the technology developed under the previous BBSRC research. The company was registered in summer 2018 and has already begun to have economic impact with the establisment of laboratories in Biocity, Nottingham and employment of 1.4 FTE posts (moved in Feb 2020). Myconeos has also identified a commercial distributor, JKM Foods (http://www.jkm-foods.com/), for the novel strains who is an existing major UK supplier. Talks are ongoing with the DTI to establish international distributors. Commercial strain production is now being planned, with strains due to be commercially available on sale from the start of June 2020.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Retail
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Agri-Food Technology Seeding Catalyst
Amount £24,500 (GBP)
Funding ID RR3611 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Description British Mycological Society Summer Studentship Scheme
Amount £2,250 (GBP)
Organisation British Mycological Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2017 
End 08/2018
 
Description Developing new strains of Penicillium roqueforti with novel characteristics for blue cheese production; Faculty REF Impact Case
Amount £19,950 (GBP)
Funding ID A7R526 
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2019 
End 07/2019
 
Description Seeding Catalyst Award
Amount £25,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/SCA/Nottingham/17 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 02/2018
 
Title Novel method for screening of volatile flavour production 
Description Designed new protocols for incubation of the fungus Penicillium roqueforti in an artifical milk model system to allow assessment of production of flavour volatiles linked to taste. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The novel method has been found to be more reliable and quicker than an exisiting published method. Work has been statistically validated. 
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation Cropwell Bishop Creamery
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation Harper Adams University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation Highland Fine Cheeses
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation J K M Foods Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation Moydens Hand Made Cheese
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation New Food Innovation
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Industrial and academic collaborations to test and manufacture novel fungal strains 
Organisation West Highland Dairy
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Maintained and built on previous contacts made on previous BBSRC Follow-on-Fund work with the first four industrial partners concerning opportunities offered by the novel fungal strains for the food industry. Specifically, we generated novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to the Highland Fine Cheese and Cropwell Bishop Dairy for trial cheese production, in liaison with New Food Innovation. In the current project we then expanded our commercial contacts to include Moydens Hand Made Cheeses and academic staff at Harper Adams College with specialist knowledge of the blue cheese sector. We then generated further novel strains and produced this as commercial inoculum which we supplied to Moydens Cheeses for small-scale cheess production trials.
Collaborator Contribution All partners remained very enthusiastic to assess the novel fungal strains and offered to help in small-scale production production trials, assess commercial potential, help with taste trials, and provide feedback on the utility of the novel strains. Specfically (work still ongoing): (1) Highland Fine Cheese. This partner has so far very kindly undertaken 8 full-scale cheese trials using either the novel strains we had produced or control commercial strains, at no cost. This has involved significant goods-in-kind contribution due to labour, materials, and storage costs. The partner then helped with taste trials of the cheese. The partner has recently committed to large-scale production trials as goods-in kind free contribution. (2) West Highland Dairy. This partner has so far very kindly provided expertise in taste trials of the cheese produced by Highland Fine Cheese, drawing on 30 yeasr experience in the market. This involved a fair goods-in-kind contribution as no charge was made for the taste trials and time involved, only travel costs were re-imbursed. (3) Cropwell Bishop Creamery. The partner has so far assisted in the small-scale production of 20 cheeses using novel and control strains. This involved providing personnel for two days to advise on specific stages of cheese production and jointly make the cheeses with NFI and University of Nottingham staff. (4) A new partnership was established with the Artesan cheese producer Moydens Cheeses. This partner has contributed in two ways. Has assisted with storage and maturation of a set of novel cheeses produced with partner (3). Has subsequently giving help with cheese taste trials, drawing on expertise in the market place. (5) New Food Innovation. Have continued to liaise between cheese producers and University partner to ensure success of the project, and have also opened talks with Supermarket representatives about possible commercial sales of the final cheese products. (6) Members of the academic staff at Harper Adams College have provided insights from their knowledge of the UK blue-cheese market and beyond, to assist with commercialisation of the work. They have also provided help with taste trials, given their role as tasting judging in national cheese contests.
Impact (1) A series of cheese production trials have been performed with a sub-set of novel fungal strains previously identified. This allowed subsequent cheese taste trials, and the identfiication so far of six novel strains for commercial application. Excitingly, these scored better than current blue cheese production strains. (2) Discussions are underway with commercial partners to form a Technology Translational Partnership to produce and with JKM Foods to market the novel strains commercially.
Start Year 2014
 
Title FUNGAL STRAINS, PRODUCTION AND USES THEREOF 
Description Patent claims development of four novel strains of the fungus Penicillium roqueforti for use in cheese and other food production. Also the methods to develop the new strains via sexual crossing and UV methodology. Also given PO code P3495GB00. 
IP Reference 1905360.2 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted 2019
Licensed Yes
Impact Strains developed have been licenced to start-up company Myconeos for commercial exploitation
 
Title Novel Fungal Strains for Cheese 
Description A patent application was submitted to the UK patent office on 17th November 2015 entitled "Novel Fungal Strains for Cheese". The patent related to the invention of novel Penicillium strains, the production of novel Penicillium strains, and the use of novel Penicillium strains, in particular in the production of cheese. The application covered 22 pages including text and supporting scientific data. The patent had two main claims: (1) The invention provides a method of producing strains of Penicillium by sexual reproduction. Specific methodology relating to sexual crossing methods was claimed, and the outcome that preferably the strain produced by sexual reproduction has a novel flavour profile; preferably this flavour profile is different to that of either parent used in the sexual cross. Biochemical methods to distinguish the novel strains were described. Strains produced by the crossing method might be used in the production of foodstuffs and cheese in particular. Alos the production of other useful metabolites wuth possible health beneficial properties, lower mycotoxin content and altered enzymen activity. (2) A method of producing a novel fungal strain with change in the colour of the spores produced was also claimed, using strains derived from sexual crossing. This comprised the step of mutating the strain to a novel colour, with examples provided. 
IP Reference GB1520209.6 
Protection Patent application published
Year Protection Granted
Licensed No
Impact Have ongoing discussions with commercial partners about a possible spin-out company or technology translational partnership.
 
Company Name MYCONEOS LIMITED 
Description The company Myconeos (https://myconeos.com/) was formed as a spin-out from work arising from the BBSRC follow-on-fund awards together with a BBSRC Agri-Food Seeding Catalyst Award. The previous research led to the identification of a series of novel fungal moulds that can be used for the production of novel blue cheeses with improved flavour and colour, which were deemed very attractive in cheese taste trials. Myconeos has the remit to produce, market and further develop the moulds using the technology developed under the previous BBSRC research. 
Year Established 2018 
Impact The company has established a relationship with the the UK SME company LIfe Sciences Group (LSG: http://lifesciencegroup.co.uk/) to co-produce the novel strains at higher-scale market production levels in Food-approved manufacturing premises. Myconeos has also identified a commercial distributor, JKM Foods (http://www.jkm-foods.com/), for the novel strains who is an existing major UK supplier. Talks are ongoing with the DTI to establish international distributors. Commercial strain production has now started, with strains due to be available from the start of March 2019.
Website https://myconeos.com/
 
Description Farmer's Market 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Some cheeses made with the novel fungal strains were trialled at an East Midlands Farmer's Market. Members of the public and University students were invited to comment on the cheeses to provide taste trial feedback. Approximately 50-100 trialled the cheeses, with an iPad style questionnaire used to get feedback on a pre-designed taste trial sheet. Useful data was collected regarding favourable new strains.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at Artesan Cheese Makers Meeting hosted by Neal's Yard Cheeses, August 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Neal's Yard organised a meeting on the 'Science of Artesan Cheese Production' attended by large, medium and small-scale cheese manufacturers in the UK and also some international attendees. The meeting lasted two days and I was invited to present a 30 minute talk on my BBSRC-funded research leading to development of novel fungal strains for blue cheese production.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://scienceofartisancheese.com/