Food & Drink Business Podcast: Synthetic biology

Food & Drink Business editor Kim Berry talks to deep tech venture capital company Main Sequence director Phil Morle about synthetic biology, Australia’s role and potential in the sector and projects already underway. 

We look specifically at precision fermentation, its ability to recreate animal fats and why that will be key in shifting consumers to a plant-based diet. 

As the global population grows, the reality of needing to produce more food using less space becomes increasingly urgent. Phil talks about how science has done so much to significantly improved yield for current food production processes, and that it is now time to invest in and develop innovative new approaches to food production.

Phil acknowledges that plant-based foods are already going a long way to help meet increased demand, but it is synthetic biology and the fermentation of various yeast forms that are allowing producers to directly grow food products. We discuss that this is well established – for example, synthetic insulin production – but we are now witnessing fermentation projects that can produce proteins and fats for dairy and meat substitutes.

We look at early-stage innovations that are demonstrating viability, including Nourish Ingredients and Eden Brew. Phil then focuses on the effort involved in quickly transitioning these to market, scaling up to the volumes required to allow prices to approach, if not exceed, parity with traditional animal products.

Australia's scientists and their research are taking synthetic biology solutions to the world and we wrap with likely timelines to progress current capability demonstrators and early production projects to a level where global capital can fund the required expansion here in Australia.


Food & Drink Business delivers the industry’s most in-depth news and editorial coverage of Australia’s food and beverage sector. The Food & Drink Business podcast is one part of our multi-media platform, which provides: the latest news; expert opinion and business advice; insightful reports on industry issues and trends; new products; the latest research and technology developments; and regulatory updates. Tune in for entertaining and informative interviews from industry leaders, change drivers and experts across all aspects of the country’s leading manufacturing sector.

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The Food & Drink Business Podcast is produced by Southern Skies Media on behalf of Food & Drink Business, owned and published by Yaffa Media.

The views of the people featured on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of Food & Drink Business, Yaffa Media, or the guest’s employer. The contents are copyright by Yaffa Media.

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MC: Grant McHerron
Host: Kim Berry
Producer: Steve Visscher

Food & Drink Business - © 2021


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