GFI Report (Fermentation Technology)

May 12, 2024

GFI Report (Fermentation Technology)

The same content is also available on Spotify (Japanese only).

In this issue, I would like to introduce the report on fermentation technology in 2023 published by the Good Food Institute, or GFI for short, focusing on what I found interesting in the report.

First, GFI is an international network of non-profit think tanks and organizations related to alternative proteins.

Now, total global investment in the field of fermentation technology is down in 2023 compared to 2022, although the percentage decrease is smaller than the significant decrease in investment from 2022 to 2023 in cultured meat and cultured fish meat, also by GFI in its report on cultured meat and cultured fish meat.

In terms of the technological mix of the companies in the GFI database, they are almost 50-50, with a focus on biomass and precision fermentation. In 2023, the number of companies reporting that they are mainly active in fermentation technology is 158.

Looking at the number of companies focusing on fermentation technology by region, the United States has the largest number of companies with 46, followed by Israel with 13, the United Kingdom and Germany with 10, respectively, Canada and the United States with 50, Europe as a whole with 61, and Asia with 27 companies active, according to the report.

Several companies have opened new manufacturing facilities and other facilities by 2023, and multinational companies such as Nestle and Kraft Heinz have begun working in the field of fermentation technology.

In addition, the companies are also becoming more active in alliances with each other to develop and launch products.

Among the products on the market, focusing on dairy, which is a personal preference, Bel Brabds USA has launched Nurishh Incredible Dairy Animal Free Cream Cheese Spread Alternative with Perfect Day and The Laughing Cow Plant-Based with Whole Foods and other stores in the U.S. Nature’s Fynd has also launched a fungus-based yogurt using the company’s Fy protein, which will be available at Whole Foods in December 2023.

In terms of how food products using fermentation technology are perceived by consumers, the term “healthy” is perceived positively in France and Spain, while relatively negatively in the U.S. and U.K. Consumers want companies to make the process of producing food products using precision fermentation easier to understand and disclose details. Consumers’ motivation to buy dairy products made with precision fermentation, for example, depends on whether or not the product is safe and, secondly, whether or not it is healthy.

There are many other aspects of this report, such as the investment perspective, but since there was a mention of the patent perspective, I will briefly summarize that next.

First, the active patenting of scientific advances by the various companies allows for public disclosure, and the patenting activity represents the maturation of a global fermentation technology value chain in industry and academia in this area.

They also note that between 2011 and 2023, the number of patent applications from companies focused on biomass and precision fermentation in the GFI database increased dramatically, from 366 in 2019 to 1,591 in 2023.

Looking at patent applications by region, the United States still has the largest number of patent applications, followed by Europe, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and Israel.

In order of the number of patent applications filed by company over the past three years, the report says that The Every Company, Solar Foods, Nature’s Fynd, Perfect Day, Orbion, and Mycotehnology are in that order.

Precision fermentation technology is often chosen to reproduce taste and texture in dairy products and to improve flavor and nutrition in dairy products, Perfection Day was granted a patent on recombinant beta-lactoglobulin protein in 2023. One of the patents also relates to the company’s food formulas containing whey protein, which contains sweet protein, fat, and other nutrients relating to the company.

This report also includes information on the regulatory status of foods and nutrients using fermentation technologies in various countries and regions. If you are interested in this report, please take a look at the link below.

State of the Industry Report: Fermentation