UK-based Adamo Foods has secured £1.5m in funding to develop meat alternatives products and bring them to market.

The group has been backed with pre-seed investment from SFC Capital, a leading UK seed-stage investor and the third VC to back the company.

The startup has also won two major grants from Innovate UK under the ‘Better Food for All’ and ‘Novel Low Emission Food Production Systems’ competitions.

The funding will be used to support the development and scaling up of its “unique” products.

The group is focused on developing plant-based alternatives to whole pieces of meat, such as steaks, filets and chops, as opposed to processed or shredded meats such as burgers, sausages, nuggets and mince.

Using new fermentation techniques, Adamo claims to have found a way to cultivate fungal mycelium in long and dense fibres, which align to form the ‘grain’ of a steak or chicken filet.

Using this proprietary method, Adamo aims to appeal to meat-eaters and not just vegans.

The company’s first product will be launched as Europe’s first ultra-realistic steak alternative, due for public tastings in late 2023.

It notes that whole cuts make up 85% of the $1.2tn real meat market, but are nearly absent from the plant-based segment.

“Difficulty replicating whole-cut meat’s complex muscle texture using plant proteins has left consumers disappointed with the options available,” it stated.

Adamo will work with research partners on biofortifying specific micronutrients that naturally occur in mycelium, to replicate the nutritional benefits of beef without the harmful dietary and sustainable impacts.

Adamo will also develop processes to take its proprietary fermentation and formulation processes from the lab to pilot scale, preparing the company for product launch.