40Research opportunities
44Commercial whitespaces
39Ecosystem support needs
Key: Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based
Opportunity Production platform Solution category Value chain segment Technology sector Maturity level
Open-access product formulation specification sheets

Open-access product formulation specifications could provide clear metrics and objectives for product developers on attributes like taste, price, nutrition, and ingredient ratios.

Fermentation Plant-Based Ecosystem End Products R&D End product formulation & manufacturing Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Plants as a recombinant protein expression platform for functional food ingredients

Crop plants used as recombinant protein production hosts could offer benefits of minimal processing, cheaper equipment, and fewer downstream purification costs.

Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Research Production R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Crop development Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Forging product development partnerships among ingredient suppliers and manufacturers

Opportunities exist to coordinate product development partnerships between ingredient suppliers, strategic partners, and product manufacturers to directly engage more holistically on product formulation.

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Ecosystem End Products Production Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Cell culture media Crop development Feedstocks Ingredient optimization Scaffolding 1 – Inception
Fat and moisture encapsulation techniques for alternative protein applications

Plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated products will all require solutions for encapsulating fat and moisture to ensure that these components are protected from damage or loss throughout manufacturing, storage, and preparation.

Cultivated Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Research End Products R&D Ingredient optimization 2 – Early adoption
Plant-based ingredient analytical and characterization service

Plant protein ingredient characterization tools or as a service.

Plant-Based Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Ingredient optimization
Biological processing methods for isolating protein ingredients

Developing and commercializing biological processing methods for isolating and functionalizing protein ingredients

Fermentation Plant-Based Commercial Research R&D Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs Bioprocess design Feedstocks Ingredient optimization Target molecule selection
Protein sequence, structure, and functionality database

An open-access database could provide functional and characterization data using standardized methods to facilitate direct performance comparisons among proteins and to train predictive algorithms.

Fermentation Plant-Based Research R&D Crop development Ingredient optimization

Get involved

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!

Swinging lit lightbulb graphic representing GFI's innovation priorities

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

Advancing Solutions for Alternative Proteins Executive Summary icon

Executive summary

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

Advancing Solutions for Alternative Proteins Full Report icon

Full report

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

Advancing Solutions for Alternative Proteins Future Wheels Analysis icon

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.

Advancing Solutions for Alternative Proteins Future-Proofing report icon


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.