Fermentation icon Fermentation

Producing animal-like fats through microbial fermentation

Microbial fermentation may be able to help us produce lipids that are identical or similar to animal fats—especially saturated fats, which are exceedingly rare in the plant kingdom.

Production platform
  • Fermentation icon Fermentation
Solution category
  • Research
  • Commercial
Value chain segment
  • R&D
  • Raw Materials, Ingredients, & Inputs
Technology sector
  • Target molecule selection
  • Host strain development
Relevant actor
  • Academics
  • Startups
Maturity level
  • 1 – Inception

Description

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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