Livin Studio, in collaboration with Utrecht University, has developed an interesting device that breaks down plastics using UV light and mushrooms. The mushrooms, once fully grown, can then be eaten.
Fungi Mutarium is a prototype that grows edible fungal biomass, mainly the mycelium, as a novel food product. Fungi is cultivated on specifically designed agar shapes that the designers called “FU”. Agar is a seaweed based gelatin substitute and acts, mixed with starch and sugar, as a nutrient base for the fungi. The “FUs” are filled with plastics. The fungi is then inserted, it digests the plastic and overgrows the whole substrate. The shape of the “FU” is designed so that it holds the plastic and to offer the fungi a lot of surface to grow on.
Its shape has been developed inspired by mushrooms and other plants in nature. The user should be reminded of harvesting mushrooms in the wild when harvesting the “FUs”.
1) Plastic is UV treated in the “Activation Cylinder” placed on the bottom of the mutarium. UV light sterilizes the plastic and activates the degradation process of the plastic which makes it easier accessible for the fungi.
2) Plain „FU“ is placed in the mutarium´s Growth Sphere. This is done with pincers to work as sterile as possible.
3) UV-sterilized plastic is put into the „FU“, ready to be digested.
4)„Macerate“ (fungi sprouts in liquid nutrient solution) are extracted with a pipette from the Fungi Nursery.
5) Extracted macerate is dropped into the „FUs“ to ignite the growing process.
6) After a couple of weeks, the ready-grown „FU“ can be taken out to be prepared and eaten.