Liberation Labs, a San Francisco-based company that specializes in precision fermentation, recently announced plans to build a $30 million precision fermentation plant in California. The plant, which will be one of the first of its kind in the US, will be used to produce plant-based proteins and other ingredients for the food industry.
Precision fermentation is a rapidly evolving technology that is poised to revolutionize the food industry. It involves using microorganisms to produce high-value proteins, flavors and other compounds through fermentation, without the need for traditional agricultural or animal production methods. By using precision fermentation, companies can produce a wide range of products that are more sustainable, affordable and customizable than those produced through traditional methods.
Here are five companies, including Liberation Labs, that are working on precision fermentation technology for various applications within the food industry.
Related: What’s Next for the Future of Food Tech?
1. Perfect Day
Perfect Day uses precision fermentation to produce animal-free dairy proteins, including whey, in products like ice cream. These proteins are produced by fermenting microflora who have been given a specific DNA sequence for milk protein. The resulting proteins are identical to those found in cow’s milk, but are produced without the need for cows or other animals. The company has raised a total of $750 million in funding since it was founded in 2014, with the most recent investment being a $350 million Series D funding round that was announced in September 2021.
Geltor uses precision fermentation to produce collagen and other high-value proteins for the food and cosmetic industries. The company uses microorganisms to produce collagen in a more sustainable and efficient way than traditional animal-based methods. It has raised a total of $114.3 million in funding since it was founded in 2015, with the most recent investment being a $91.3 million Series D funding round that was also completed in February 2021.
3. The EVERY Co.
The EVERY Co. uses precision fermentation to produce animal-free egg proteins. The company uses a similar process to Perfect Day, fermenting yeast with specific DNA sequences that code for egg proteins. The resulting proteins are identical to those found in chicken eggs, but are produced without the need for chickens. The company has raised a total of $239.8 million in funding since it was founded in 2015, with the most recent investment being an $8 million Series B funding round that was completed in April 2020.
4. Motif Ingredients
Motif Ingredients is a company that uses precision fermentation to produce a wide range of animal-free ingredients, including proteins, fats and flavors. The company uses a proprietary fermentation platform to produce these ingredients, which can be customized to meet the specific needs of food and beverage companies. It has raised a total of $343.5 million in funding since it was founded in 2019, with the most recent investment being a $200 million Series B funding round that was completed in August 2021.
5. Liberation Labs
Liberation Labs is focused on using precision fermentation to create animal-free proteins for the food industry. The company’s goal is to provide a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional animal-based proteins, which can be resource-intensive and often involve animal welfare concerns. It has raised a total of $60 million in funding since it was founded in 2021, with the second most recent investment being a $20 million in a seed round this past December.
Precision fermentation is still a relatively new technology, but it has the potential to transform the food and beverage industry in a number of ways. By producing high-value proteins, flavors and other compounds through fermentation, companies can reduce their environmental impact, improve their bottom line and offer consumers more sustainable and affordable products.
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