Hydrogen Oxidizing Bacteria as Novel Protein Source for Human Consumption : An Overview

Angenent, Suzanne C.; Schuttinga, Josje H.; Efferen, Merel F.H. van; Kuizenga, Boaz; Bree, Bart van; Krieken, Robin O. van der; Verhoeven, Tim J.; Wijffels, Rene H.


The increasing threat of climate change combined with the prospected growth in the world population puts an enormous pressure on the future demand for sustainable protein sources for human consumption. In this review, hydrogen oxidizing bacteria (HOB) are presented as a novel protein source that could play a role in fulfilling this future demand. HOB are species of bacteria that merely require an inflow of the gasses hydrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and a nitrogen source to grow in a conventional bioreactor. Cupriavidus necator is proposed as HOB for industrial cultivation due to its remarkably high protein content (up to 70% of mass), suitability for cultivation in a bioreactor, and the vast amount of available background information. A broad overview of the unique aspects of the bacteria will be provided, from the production process, amino acid composition, and source of the required gasses to the future acceptance of HOB into the market.