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44Commercial whitespaces
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Key: Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Value chain segment Technology sector End product focus Relevant actor Maturity level Solution category Topic
Affordable animal-free omega-3 ingredients for alternative seafood and other alternative protein applications

In order to appeal to health-conscious consumers, alternative seafood products should contain similar omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA and EPA, content to conventional seafood. Animal-free omega-3 ingredients can be expensive…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based Investment Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Crop development Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Industry Investors Startups Commercial Industry
Novel methods for long-chain omega-3 fatty acid production

As the alternative seafood industry scales up, a low-cost and abundant source of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids will become necessary. Several means of producing these compounds have been investigated…

Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Academics Industry Startups Research Science
Preventing oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids before and after addition to alternative seafood products

Deeper fundamental knowledge of the causes and prevention of oxidation of omega-3 fatty acids before, during, and after addition to alternative seafood products is needed to improve their nutritional and…

Cultivated icon Cultivated Fermentation icon Fermentation Plant-based icon Plant-Based End Products Investment Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Crop development End product formulation & manufacturing Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Seafood Academics Industry Investors Startups Research Industry Science
Understanding uptake and interconversion of omega-3 fatty acids by cultivated fish cells

Although fish are one of the best dietary sources of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (FAs), these compounds are mostly bioaccumulated from a fish’s diet rather than synthesized de novo. Consistent…

Cultivated icon Cultivated R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell culture media Cell line development Host strain development Seafood Academics Industry Startups Commercial Research Science
Microbial strain-development contract research organizations for alternative protein applications

While emerging fermentation-derived ingredient companies often optimize their strain’s productivity in-house, it may be more efficacious for startups to engage contract research organizations with both deep microbial strain development expertise…

Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Host strain development Species-agnostic Industry Startups Commercial Ecosystem Research Industry Science
Comprehensive microbial screening to identify new protein production candidate strains

Metabolic and physiological characteristics of microbial strains define the commercial potential of any fermentative process, but only a minimal number of strains have been scaled up for commercial production of…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Production R&D Host strain development Species-agnostic Academics Industry Startups 1 – Inception Commercial Research Industry Science
Producing animal-like fats through microbial fermentation

Microbial fermentation provides an efficient method for generating lipid molecules that are chemically identical to those produced by animals. Research efforts are needed to expand current knowledge about the process…

Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Target molecule selection Species-agnostic Academics Startups 1 – Inception Commercial Research Science
Expanding options for food-safe genetic selection markers

In strain development, many of the selectable markers confer traits like antibiotic or herbicide resistance. While some auxotrophic selection markers exist, these are often not orthogonal and thus not amenable…

Fermentation icon Fermentation R&D Host strain development Species-agnostic Academics Industry Startups Research Science
Biosynthetic pathway discovery for fermentation-produced molecules

After identifying specific target molecules or desired functionalities in animal-derived foods, scientists can work backward, mining microbial sequences for candidate molecules in the microbial realm that might provide similar functionality.…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Species-agnostic Academics Industry Startups Commercial Research Industry Science
Fat production & encapsulation within oleaginous yeast

Oleaginous yeast can convert sugars into fats that impart flavor and mouthfeel to alternative proteins, and they can accumulate lipids within their cell bodies to inhibit oxidation. New research on…

Fermentation icon Fermentation Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Host strain development Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection Species-agnostic Academics Industry Startups Commercial Research Industry Science

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If you’d like to fund a research project, work on any of these solutions, share information about related efforts that are already underway, or elevate new ideas for advancing the alternative protein industry, we’d love to hear from you!

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Explore key innovation priorities

Review commercial whitespaces, research gaps, technological needs, and investment priorities at each stage of the alternative protein value chain.

How we built this

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Executive summary

Get an overview of GFI’s Solutions initiative and a summary of key resources.

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Full report

Delve into the full report on the motivation, methodology, rationale, and key findings and recommendations of the Solutions initiative.

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Futures wheels analysis

Explore our framework for uncovering second-order or third-order consequences and implications of hypothetical future scenarios to support better decision-making in the present.

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Future-proofing

Discover key findings from GFI’s premortem analysis of potential threats to the widespread adoption of alternative proteins, including strategies to avoid or mitigate the most pressing risks.