The Future of Food is Fermented

VEGAN CONNECT _ ENE 13, 2023

The way we view food is evolving quickly. With more knowledge of how food is produced and how it affects our bodies, more adjustments are being made on how we produce it, and what we ultimately decide to consume.

Roberto Guerra, Vegan & Alt-Protein Business Developer of Singular Foods.

Fermentation is nothing new. Defined broadly as any of various enzyme catalysed aerobic or anaerobic processes involving transformation of organic compounds or, in plain English, the foaming that takes place when wine and beer are produced, as well as an ancient way of preserving food, it’s a process that started at least 10,000 years ago. 

But in today’s world fermentation has taken on some new uses. According to Katarina Kostic, founder and CEO of FROOF, a probiotic drink brand based in Barcelona, and an expert on fermentation and soil health impacts on the human gut microbiome, “We should think of ourselves as a «superorganism,» conformed of human and microbial cells with whom we have coevolved, who perform critical functions in our body and provide a wide range of services to us, outnumbering our own human cells ten to one. For the first time, thanks to genetic sequencing, we now have a map of the healthy human microbiome, a collection of bacteria, viruses, fungi, andarchaea.

Now that we know what microbes are vital to our health, we should expect that the future of both food and healthcare will focus more on treating disorders of our microbiome with fermented foods and beverages – by introducing targeted microbial species (a «probiotic») and therapeutic foods (a «prebiotic» – food for microbes) into our gut «community.» In short, our fridges as well as our pharmacies of the future will be full of friendly germs and the food they like to eat.”

Precision Fermentation

Traditional fermentation is one thing, but precision fermentation is the relatively new technology leading the way in the production of healthy, tasty foods without animals. By way of genetically engineered microorganisms that are cultivated in fermentation tanks, precision-fermentation is being used to develop everything from animal fats to milk protein. 

Companies like Fooditive, have developed honey without bees, while Berlin-based Formo is using the technology to produce animal-free cheese.

Food companies employing this technology continue to flare up, and investors are catching wind of this seemingly imminent change in how food is being produced. Earlier this year, Vegconomist reported that the first African precision-fermentation company that produces fermented dairy products, De Novo Dairy, received initial funding from CULT Food Science Corp, the first publicly traded cell-based food company in North America, while Agronomics, the investment company, has injected precision fermentation technology company Liberation Labs with 3.5 million dollars.

Embracing a fermented future of food

Singular Foods, the food design and innovation company based in Madrid, Spain, is embracing the change. Katarina Kostic, the fermentation expert, and her company FROOF, are now a part of Singular Foods. She is now available to provide our clients with her expertise and passion for food system change, by way of our Mycelium Design Lab. 

Since 2019 we have been designing the products, services, businesses, connections, ecosystems and organizations needed for a better future of food. To learn how we can help your food company adapt and/or grow for the innovative future of food contact us at info@singularfoods.net 

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