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Alternative protein precision fermentation - a corporate guide

This study summarizes the latest developments and opportunities in alternative protein precision fermentation for corporates. It showcases that partnerships are key to success, and highlights a broad spectrum of applications in alternative meat, dairy and egg proteins.
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Study details

Precision fermentation is an emerging alternative protein technology that uses microbes to produce functional food ingredients. The derived ingredients are typically combined with existing alternative protein products to improve taste, texture, and nutritional value.

Our precision fermentation study delves into the various benefits that this technology offers to businesses. We also demonstrate that precision fermentation is one of the most mature alternative protein technologies, following modern plant-based analogs and biomass fermentation. 

Furthermore, as we explore the current state of the precision fermentation industry, we offer in-depth profiles of the most noteworthy ingredient developers, detailing their products and approval status. The study also maps companies along the precision fermentation process, identifying business opportunities, emphasizing the importance of partnerships, and highlighting various examples of successful collaborations. 

Selected highlights

the year precision-fermented milk proteins will reach price parity, according to New Culture
$1 billion+
funding raised by dairy precision fermentation startups
10 months
for Perfect Day to earn regulatory approval for whey protein in the United States
Author insights
"In 2022, we've seen the majority of large ingredient providers grow their interest in precision fermented ingredients."
Floor Buitelaar
Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Bright Green Partners

Study FAQs

Can precision fermentation produce enough protein to replace meat and dairy?

While precision fermentation has the potential to produce high-quality ingredients, it does not aim to replace traditional protein sources such as meat and dairy. Instead, precision fermentation is expected to produce ingredients that significantly improve existing alternatives on the market today, including plant-based , plant-based 2.0, and mycoprotein-based products.

How will precision fermentation affect consumer experience?

For the average consumer, it won’t much. The ingredients produced are virtually identical to their animal counterparts in terms of taste, texture, and functionality. As a result, consumers may not notice any differences between products made with precision fermentation and those that use animal-derived ingredients. For vegan and vegetarian consumers however, precision fermentation enables a broad range of new products and flavors.

There may also be products branded with ‘Precision fermented ingredient inside’ similar to ‘Intel inside’ for sub-sets of the market where this novelty is a selling point. However, consumers don’t typically base purchasing decisions on individual ingredients. Significant responsibility lies in the hands of the regulators and producers to adhere to high quality standards. By doing so, they can build consumer trust and confidence in the technology, which will be critical for its widespread adoption and success in the market.

What is the difference between established precision fermentation ingredients like rennet and new ingredients such as whey, casein, and egg protein?

Newer precision fermentation ingredients target lower-value molecules that are essential components in various products and relatively complex to produce. These ingredients include proteins, enzymes, and other components that are necessary for the production of specific foods and beverages. Enabled by recent advances in genetic engineering (notably CRISPR) and computational biology, they can now be produced at a competitive cost and with greater efficiency. 

Conversely, established precision fermentation products are typically complex, high-value molecules (above $100/kg) such as pharmaceuticals (e.g. insulin), enzymes (e.g. rennet), or low-value but easy-to-produce ingredients (e.g. citric acid or lysine). The latter are easier to produce, either because they are smaller molecules or because they are similar to molecules already produced by microbes.

How can Bright Green Partners assist my company in navigating and capitalizing on the opportunities presented by precision fermentation?

Bright Green Partners offers a wide range of services to support businesses in the precision fermentation industry, including business strategy, strategic product innovation, technical and commercial due diligence, and operational improvement. You can find more details about our services and selected project credentials in the precision fermentation study or by visiting the case studies section of our website. Additionally, if you're interested in learning more about our previous work and would like to hear directly from a former client, we would be more than happy to arrange a connection for you.
Get a glimpse of our in-depth study
  • Precision fermentation production method as share of global supply (%)
  • Maturity overview of alternative protein technologies
  • Main applications and companies for meat precision fermentation
  • Precision fermentation process and main company types involved

About Bright Green Partners

Bright Green Partners is a global consulting house focused on alternative proteins. We work with food and biotech companies and governments to help them navigate the emerging plant-based, fermentation-derived, and cultivated meat and dairy industries. Our services include strategy, innovation, and operational consulting, and we guide our clients from initial market exploration to large-scale production. We achieve this by combining top-tier consulting expertise with deep industry knowledge.
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This 18-page study summarizes the latest developments and opportunities in alternative protein precision fermentation for corporates.
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