- Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs
- Target molecule selection
- Host strain development
- 1 – Inception
As demand increases for animal-free fats that mimic or exceed the sensory qualities of animal-derived fats—especially saturated fats, which are exceedingly rare in the plant kingdom—alternative sources will be needed. Microbial fermentation may be able to serve this need by identifying biosynthetic pathways for producing lipids that are identical or similar to animal fats and introducing these into high fat-producing microbial strains. A handful of startup companies have recently emerged in this realm, but there is substantial room for increased research activity given the urgency and importance of this challenge.
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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.
Oleaginous yeast with durable cell walls may be able to serve as natural methods of fat encapsulation to protect fats through manufacturing, storage, and preparation.
Microbial biosynthetic pathways can be mined computationally to identify candidate pathways for manufacturing high-value ingredients via fermentation.
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