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New fungi for tastier cheese

New fungal strains created by BBSRC-funded researchers have been used to make brand new blue cheeses and are now going into commercial production.

Data breakout

2018 Year spin-out company Myconeos Ltd was established.
4 Number of novel strains taken forward for commercial exploitation.
£336k Value of BBSRC Follow-on Fund investment

Using sexual crossing technology developed using previous BBSRC funding, Professor Paul Dyer at the University of Nottingham used BBSRC Follow-on funding1,2 to create new strains of Penicillium roqueforti, a fungal species essential for making blue cheeses such as Roquefort, Stilton and Gorgonzola. Dyer collaborated with cheesemakers to make cheeses using these fungal strains. Excitingly, some of the new cheeses scored better in taste tests than those made entirely with existing, commercially available strains, generating great interest from supermarkets and producers.

The University of Nottingham patented the new fungal strains, and Dyer helped establish start-up company Myconeos Ltd in 2018 to produce and market the novel strains for cheese production.

Key impacts

  • Fungal strains created using new sexual crossing technology have generated great interest from supermarkets and producers for blue cheese production.
  • The strains were patented by the University of Nottingham, and spinout Myconeos Ltd was established in 2018 to produce them commercially.

Header image copyright: Professor Paul Dyer, University of Nottingham