Making Sense of Fermentation Fever

image of fermented vegetables

Share This Post

As innovation consultants, we stay current on trends that impact our clients. Fermentation is one trend that’s prevalent of late in the food and beverage industry.

The food industry has been overwhelmed with fermentation fever. It can be daunting to make sense of this rather nebulous field. This is partly because the term is a catch-all, seemingly used to describe all things at the intersection of biotechnology and food. And partly because it’s a fast-moving, dynamic, and disruptive space.

Here we dissect the concept and provide a mere glimpse into how fermentation will continue to impact the ingredient landscape.

All fermentation takes place in a bioreactor, at the will of microbial life, but not all fermentation is the same. The term ‘fermentation’ is generally applied to two distinct microbial platform technologies.

  1. The age-old process of leveraging microbes to transform existing ingredients; think carbohydrates into acids (kimchi, yogurt) and alcohols (beer, wine).
  2. The new process of engineering microbes to synthesize value-added ingredients; this flavor of fermentation draws from innovations in synthetic biology and recombinant protein expression.

Fermentation unlocks more sustainable, healthful, and enjoyable ingredients.

Sustainable. Fermentation, age-old or new, can reduce environmental inputs, especially land and water in the case of producing animal-alternative ingredients. Even more, coaxing plant-based proteins to behave like their animal counterpart is an energy-intensive feat. Enzymes created via fermentation are an attractive workaround to the high heat, high-pressure processes currently used to modify protein functionality.

Healthful and Enjoyable. Currently, plant-based products deploy a laundry list of ingredients that build flavor and texture but do little for nutrition. Fermentation presents an alternative strategy — find plant-based sources of the same food components responsible for the characteristic ‘animal’ experience and synthesize them without the animal.

Researchers are mining the microbial world in pursuit of fermenting novel flavors, aromas, fats, vitamins, co-factors, antimicrobial agents, and more.

We bring fresh perspectives to clients across the food and agriculture value chain so they can solve their toughest innovation challenges. From identifying emerging opportunities and unmet customer needs, to accelerating new ideas through product development to market launch and building strategic partnerships that provide long-term growth, we unlock your innovation potential.

What innovation challenge can we help you solve?

More To Explore

image of fermented vegetables
Food and Agriculture

Making Sense of Fermentation Fever

As innovation consultants, we stay current on trends that impact our clients. Fermentation is one trend that’s prevalent of late in the food and beverage industry. We hep clients understand this fast-moving, dynamic, disruptive space. Learn how.

image of a group of people working to strengthen their innovation ecosystem
Strategic planning

Strengthening the Philippine Innovation Ecosystem

Can a nation promote economic growth by connecting to the innovation ecosystem? Since 2013, we’ve participated in implementing the Philippines’ Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for Development (STRIDE) program, which bolstered the country’s innovation ecosystem. Read about our work facilitating economic growth by connecting an organization to its innovation ecosystem.

Let's get started today!