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The Good Food Institute has released its 2020 State of the Industry report on fermentation, as the sector grows to become the “third technological pillar” of the alternative protein sector. 

The three types of fermentation include traditional fermentation (used for thousands of years and helps to make products such as bread and beer), biomass fermentation (leveraging fast growth and high protein contact of microorganisms to produce large quantities of protein), and precision fermentation (using specially designed microbial hosts as “cell factories” to produce specific ingredients, which can improve sensory characteristics of plant-based or cell-based meat).

The report found that of the 51 companies around the world focused on fermentation for alternative protein, 21 are biomass fermentation companies, 23 are precision fermentation companies and seven are traditional fermentation companies.

Australia was included among the 16 countries which operate at least one fermentation company, with the majority of the companies being based in the United States (23 fermentation companies) and Israel (nine companies). Australia is represented by Brisbane-based company Nourish Ingredients.

In 2020, fermentation companies raised almost $590 million in investment – more than double the amount raised in 2019. This represented 57 per cent of all-time sector funding.

“I believe fermentation will be central to the future of alternative proteins, and a lot of the industry growth over the next 10 years will be the result of innovations in this segment,” said The Good Food Institute director of corporate engagement Caroline Bushnell.

“Industry leaders appear to believe so too, with companies like AB InBev, DuPont, and Danone making notable investments in the space.”

The Good Food Institute expects 2021 to be “another unprecedented year of research and development breakthroughs in fermentation”, as products begin to reach customers directly.

To download the full report, click here.

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