Using Biotechnology in Food Production
How Are Bioreactors Used In The Food and Beverage Industry?
Bioreactors offer a wide array of benefits in food and beverage production. With the ability to control environmental factors such as temperature, pH, oxygen concentration, and nutrient supply, these versatile devices are ideal for the production of various food and beverage products. They have the potential to enhance the nutritional value of foods and provide sustainable food sources such as plant-based proteins.1 The food industry has seen immense benefits from the utilization of bioreactors, including the production of fermented foods, enzymes, organic acids, and diverse flavours.1 Biotechnology food includes, for example, fermented foods like yoghurt and cheese are produced using bioreactors and bioreactors enable the food industry to sustainably create plant-based proteins and reduce waste of raw materials.1 Thanks to the laboratory, we can now feed more people while wasting fewer raw materials using these devices, thus achieving the goal of sustainability.2
Fermentation of Food and Drink
For thousands of years, fermentation has been a key player in food production, from preserving foods to creating alcoholic beverages and improving nutritional value and bioavailability of ingredients like kimchi and tempeh. In the past century, fermentation has evolved to various applications beyond its historical use.3
Traditional fermentation uses intact live microorganisms to process plant-based ingredients, into unique foods. Examples of traditional fermentation include using the fungus Rhizopus to ferment soybeans into tempeh and using various lactic acid bacteria to produce cheese and yoghurt. More recent adaptations to this process include MycoTechnology’s fermentation of plant-based proteins to improve flavour and functionality.3
Biomass fermentation is another approach. This process produces large quantities of protein by leveraging the fast growth and high protein content of many microorganisms. The microbial biomass can serve as the main ingredient of a food product or as one of several primary ingredients in a blend.3
Precision fermentation is another fermentation technique which utilised microbials to produce specific functional ingredients. These functional ingredients can improve sensory characteristics and functional attributes of plant-based products or cultivated meat. Precision fermentation can produce enzymes, flavouring agents, vitamins, natural pigments, and fats.3
Not all ingredients are easily sourced in large volumes and at low prices. Biotechnology provides limitless options for developing ingredients.3
Biotechnology Food Products
From yoghurt to chocolate and beyond, precision fermentation is a powerful tool for creating a vast range of products. This process uses bioreactors to convert milk into lactic acid bacteria for yoghurt and yeast cells for transforming sugars into alcohol for beer brewing.4 It also provides an alternative to traditional cheese-making, where natural rennet is replaced with yeast cells grown in a bioreactor.4 Furthermore, cell mass harvested from cocoa beans can be used to create a product reminiscent of chocolate. This method not only eliminates transport routes and problems like heavy pollution, but also requires fewer resources, thus protecting the environment.2
Biotechnology Food To Replace Animal Products
As consumers in the contemporary western world, we are faced with a multitude of food-related choices that require us to consider both our own health, as well as the planet’s. We want to enjoy our food, but also be aware of the environmental impacts of our decisions. Unfortunately, current food production is not efficient and is creating an outrageous amount of global greenhouse emissions.6
The food industry has been using fermentation techniques for some time to displace animal products. In the 1980s, fermentation-produced chymosin (the major enzyme in calf rennet) replaced the use of calf rennet in most cheese production.3 More recently, precision fermentation has been used to create alternative proteins, such as Impossible Foods’ soy leghaemoglobin. These proteins are combined with plant-derived ingredients, like sugar, coconut oil and sunflower oil, to produce a final product.3
By utilizing fermentation-based technologies, we can reduce our reliance on animal-based products and create food that is both delicious and sustainable.
Bioreactors Suitable For R&D Food and Beverage Industry from Froilabo
At Froilabo we offer a range of fully configurable stirred-tank bioreactors.
- 1 L Twin Microbial Bioreactor
- 5 L Bioreactor for Cell Cultivations
- 5 L Bioreactor for Microbial Fermentations
- 15 L Bioreactor for Microbial Fermentations
- 15 L Bioreactor for Cell Cultivation
For more information on our range of bioreactors, please get in touch, and a member of our team will be happy to help.
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