Imagine a colorful world where beauty goes hand in hand with sustainability. The colorant market is expected to reach a staggering €86.76 billion globally by 2030. However, let’s be honest, conventional synthetic colors not only bring color but also pose risks to the environment and our health. This is where the new project “TUrn FUnghi potentials into a COLorful future (TUFUCOL)” comes into play.

Publication date
15 March 2024

What makes this project so special? Fungi! Yes, those little heroes we often overlook have the potential to produce colors through fermentation. In TUFUCOL, the focus is on blue and orange for non-food applications.

Fungal Dyes

Fungal dyes offer a promising path to sustainability. Derived from environmentally friendly fungal species, they stand out for their renewability and avoidance of toxic contaminants. Their potential in terms of color fastness and versatile applications makes them an attractive alternative to synthetic dyes.

Accessible Technology

In recent years, researchers at MNEXT have deciphered the secret recipes of fungal dyes using modern technologies. Unfortunately, these technologies are not easily accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that lack the necessary expertise and facilities. To overcome this obstacle, we are collaborating with two research institutions, an academic think tank, eight SME pioneers, and two industry associations, all with a common goal: to accelerate the industrialization of fungal colorants. Together, we aim to bridge the gap between scientific knowledge and practical applications by blending our knowledge and facilities as valuable ingredients.

TUFUCOL is an Sia RAAK-SME project and will run until (31st-august-2025). Want to learn more? Contact project leader Miaomiao Zhou, Associate Lecturer Smart Fermentation, at

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