Biotech will enable the sustainable protein revolution of the future

Biotech will enable the sustainable protein revolution of the future
Precision fermentation and biotech is a wider family of lab-based food production techniques using bioreactors instead of animals or fields. It shows unlocking disruptive opportunites in sustainable food and alternative proteins.
Proteins play a substantial role in human nutrition. Plant-based diets and alternative protein sources are the on-going trend in nutrition also in pandemic times. Alternative proteins play an increasing role in the supermarket. The share of flexitarians is growing rapidly especially in the Western world.
End consumers demand for more sustainably produced but also advanced food. Biotech is a major enabler of all these trends. With biotech, new sources, advanced ingredients and more plant-based or vegan foods can be produced.
For instance precision fermentation – also known as recombinant protein production - uses microbes to produce specific ingredients. Typically a lower amount of land and water is required to produce specific ingredients such as gelatin, vitamins or casein compared to the farmed products. A large amount of complex molecules can be produced with presicly calibrated properties.
Application areas of the ingredients derived from fermentation technologies are diverse ranging from milk, eggs, meat, seafood, fats and oils, honey, infant formula, gelatin or pet food. Between 2019 and 2021, an average of ten new precision fermentation companies were established annually all over the world.
Leading F&B players are evaluating, screening or are in the early stage of utilizing precision fermentation and biotech to meet their goals of advanced nutrition. With biotech, technical, nutritional, sensory or structural challenges can be overcome. Also improved nutrient bioavailabiltiy, a better shelf-life stabilty or products containing functional ingredients such as probiotics are possible with biotech.
Today the manufacturing capacity is a major bottleneck in the upscaling. Approximatley 60 M liters of fermentation volumetric capacity is available globally, whereof only 5% was originally designed for food applications. Experts forecast that the demand for alternative proteins from fermentation would require three orders of magnitude more fermentation capacity than is currently available. Additional challenges are for instance an improved production efficiency, identification of yield-maximizing strains as well as improved understanding of taste and texture profiling of complex food such as meat or milk.
Schlegel und Partner helps you to gain valuable insights in this rapidly changing industry, identifies market needs and expectations and gives its customers guidance for a sustainable growth.

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