Fermentation Wageningen

Fermentation technology for sustainable chemicals and food ingredients

Fermentation of AgriFood substrates is a perfect sustainable alternative for the production of specific chemicals and food ingredients that are currently manufactured from fossil sources. Together with industrial partners, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is developing the most cost-effective route towards the optimal fermentation process that meets the customer demand.

Thanks to a unique lab-to-pilot approach, Wageningen experts have a great deal of experience with fermentation technologies for food products and chemicals. In the dedicated fermentation laboratories, processes can be scaled up to 2, 100, and even 1000 liters. We work with a wide variety of micro-organisms:

  • Yeasts
  • Fungi
  • Anaerobic bacteria


We use natural evolution, the latest biotechnological techniques such as CRISPR/Cas, and mathematical modelling to improve and optimise our fermentation processes. With the expertise in anaerobic fermentation routes and the use of cost-effective agricultural waste or sidestreams, it is possible to:

  • Increase the productivity and volumetric yields of the conversion processes;
  • Reduce the cost of fermentation substrates and energy consumption.

For example, we design processes that are suitable for the development of new, functional, and healthy food ingredients, and fermentation processes that can compete with petrochemical processes. Even when the oil prices are low.

Practical solutions

From the start, the client’s question is the central focus of attention for Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. We do not conduct research for the sake of research, but to come up with the best solutions for the client — practically and effectively. For example in the field of:

Bulk and fine chemicals

New fermentation processes accelerate the development of competing bulk and fine chemicals and even end products such as bioplastics. Based on our practical knowledge in the field of biocatalysis and fermentation technology, we develop high value chemicals with a focus on molecules with multiple active groups, such as diols, diamines, dicarboxylic acids, and hydroxy acids. For many of these chemical precursors for important platics and other materials , sustainable, biobased processes are not yet available.

“Clean label” products

The fermentation process supplies the required components, such as individual or multiple  vitamins, flavour, or preservatives in a natural way, so that they can be labelled as “fermented sugar”, “fermented vegetables”, or “fruit”. This approach can be applied to enrich plant-based products with vitamin B12, or to make products such as alcohol-free beer and pastries retain their flavour and increase their shelf-life.

Interested in the possibilities?

Contact us for an informal conversation.