In synthetic biology conferences, engineering improvements of food is listed in the top three applications of the new technology. As an example, George Church’s lab developed a genetic engineering technology specifically aimed at evolving super-tomatoes containing high amounts of the anti-oxident lycopene, as proof-of-concept. Frequent brainstorming “what could syn bio do?” sessions include ideas of growing thick beef steaks without the cow: in essence, this is presumed to be an improvement on quality, cleanliness, nutrition, and animal rights, than today’s factory-farming method of bringing steak to the table.
What if there is already a better “steak”? Let’s call it Meat 2.0. How about modifying Rhizopus oligosporus, the fungus used in making tempeh, to create new tastes or additional vitamins? Note that the below article states, “cost of preparing 1.5 kg of tempeh was less than US$1.”
Nutritional and sensory evaluation of tempeh products made with soybean, ground-nut, and sunflower-seed combinations
M. P. Vaidehi, M. L. Annapurna, and N. R. Vishwanath
Department of Rural Home Science and Department of Agricultural Microbiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India
Tempeh products made from soybeans and from combinations of soybeans with ground-nuts and sunflower seed at ratios of 52:48 and 46:54 respectively were tested for their appearance, texture, aroma, flavour, and over-all acceptability. In addition, tempeh was prepared with and without the addition of bakla (Vicia faba) to soybeans in various ratios to obtain a tempeh of acceptable quality and nutritional value (1). Bakla tempeh at a 1:1 ratio was found to be crisper and more palatable than plain soybean tempeh, but at 3:1 the tempeh had a mushroom odour.
Tempeh culture (Rhizopus oligosporus) was obtained from the New Age Food Study Center, Lafayette, California, USA. It was grown on a rice medium and inoculated while different blended tempehs were prepared. A 2.5 9 packet of culture was used for 250 9 of substrate on a dry weight basis.
Soybeans (Hardee), ground-nuts (TMV-30), and sunflower seed (Mordon) were obtained from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. Three varieties of tempeh -100 per cent soy, soy-ground-nut (52:48), and soy” sunflower seed (46:54)-were prepared under identical conditions.
Preparation of Tempeh and Products