CHICAGO — Food technology startup Hyfé Foods has raised $2 million in an oversubscribed pre-seed round led by The Engine, a venture firm spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Founded in 2021, Hyfé Foods has developed technology that uses wasted sugar water from food and beverage manufacturers as a feedstock to produce low-carbohydrate, protein-rich mycelium flour. A bowl of pasta formulated with the ingredient has as much protein as a chicken breast and is high in fiber, said co-founder and chief executive officer Michelle Ruiz.

“Hyfé’s mycelium flour tastes and acts just like wheat flour, enabling people to eat the foods they love without negative health impacts,” she said. “We are leveraging biotechnology to produce this ingredient that is carbon neutral, at scale, and at a very low cost.”

The process conserves water while improving food access. The funding will accelerate the startup’s efforts to scale toward commercialization.

“In the face of supply chain and climate uncertainty, regionalized production of healthy food is vital to a circular economy and more importantly, ensuring global food security,” said Katie Rae, CEO and managing partner at The Engine. “Hyfé stands out because it operates at the intersection of climate and health and uniquely delivers a cost-effective solution.”

Additional investors include Blue Horizon, Caffeinated Capital, Supply Change Capital, Lifely, Gaingels, Hack Ventures, and angel investors including restaurateurs and founders. The startup also received a Department of Energy grant through the Chain Reaction Innovations Accelerator at Argonne National Labs.