Shanghai Xuerong Biotechnology Co Ltd announced on September 18 a cooperation project with China Aerospace to look into the possibility of growing edible mushrooms in space.
"Our strategic cooperation project with China Aerospace aims to bring its space technology into the development of our products," said Yang Yongping, chairman of Shanghai Xuerong Biotechnology.
Yang said that Xuerong is discussing with China Aerospace's nutrition and food laboratory ways to grow edible mushrooms in space. The company hopes to offer the mushrooms to Chinese consumers in the future.
Yang said the world is seeing an annual increase of 6.1 percent in edible mushroom production, and that China is the largest producer with its output accounting for more than 70 percent of the world's total.
According to Wang Yanyao, marketing manager of Xuerong Biotechnology, the company is seeking locations for its new factories in Central and Southwest China, which are expected to start production before 2015.
The company has five production bases in China with factories in Shanghai's Fengxian area, Jilin's Changchun, Shandong's Dezhou, Sichuan's Chengdu and Guangdong's Guangzhou. It has a daily combined edible mushroom output of 270 tons.
Daily output is expected to increase up to 500 tons by 2015 to reach 180,000 tons a year.