Alternative protein companies like Impossible foods, perfect day, and many other startups businesses are making protein alternatives that won’t be needing animal cultivated goods. Many industries like clothes, cosmetics, chemicals, and food have generated an enormous one and a half billion dollars till July since the start of this year.  

And so, as per the new report released by GFI, among foundational technologies, fermentation is the technology on which fresh as well as conventional food brands are developing alternative protein without animal product sources, and it is growing rapidly.

So what is Fermentation Technology?

Fermentation technology uses microbes such as mycoprotein and microalgae for the production of biomass (energy, pharmaceutical, chemical, material, and food). Furthermore, it improves plant-based proteins and creates different useful ingredients. 

Benefits of fermentation technology 

According to the Good Food Institute, companies that have developed or deployed fermentation technologies have generated $435 million by July 2020. This has increased by 60% since 2019. 

As in the words of Liz Specht, GFI Associate Director of Science and Technology, “Alternative protein through fermentation has the capability for improving production efficiency, sustainability, and flavor, recognized by innovators as well as investors of the market. This leads to a huge surge in the usage of fermentation for the alternative protein-based business.” 

He further said, “Besides, this is only a start as the prospect landscape for technological growth is untouched in this field. This new production method extracted from animals, plants, cell culture, and microscopic fermentation, will harness a huge amount of proteins for the alternative protein industry.”

Which companies have adopted alternative protein methods?

Leading investors are now taking notice. Companies like Breakthrough Energy Ventures backed by Bill Gates, Temasek, CPP Investment Board, Horizons Ventures, Louis Dreyfus Co., Kellogg, Bunge Ventures, ADM Capital, among many others, have all developed companies in the industry. 

Growth of fermentation-based companies

Quorn was the first company to extract protein through fermentation back in 1985. And since then, big companies have started to take notice, resulting in the enormous growth of the industry. 

Overall, fermentation-based companies have increased 3.5 times more capital than traditional cultivated meat companies globally. According to GFI, it has raised almost 60% as much as U.S. plant-based meat and dairy companies. Now, there are at least 44 startups that are focusing on alternative protein globally. As mentioned by the GFI report, large public companies, like DSM, DuPont, and Novozymes, are also mounting product lines for the alternative protein industry. 

As in the opinion of an investor with the CPT Capital, Rosie Wardle:

“We are very excited about the excelling of fermentation in the alternative protein industry. We believe that fermentation could solve many contemporary issues faced by this industry. Besides, biomass fermentation has the potential to extract the healthy and clean protein in an efficient and cost-effective manner and could revolutionize the plant-based type. Plus, the recent report by GFI regarding fermentation for alternative protein is highly recommended for the people who are concerned about the global food system.”