Fermentation Wageningen

Fermentation technology for sustainable chemicals and food ingredients

Throughout history, the utilization of microorganisms for bioconversion has been evident in various forms, including the production of fermented foods, the synthesis of both bulk and fine chemicals, and the degradation of undesirable substances. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research aims to assist industries in utilizing microbiology to develop concepts that contribute to societal well-being, particularly in terms of environmental impact and health.

Microbial Cell Factories

In fermentation, microorganisms can be regarded as tiny factories filled with the molecular machinery required to drive the cascade to reactions that yield unique bioconversions. Achieving optimal utilization of microorganisms for synthesizing biobased products, producing fermented plant-based foods, or facilitating biodegradation necessitates profound expertise in microbiology across molecular, physiological, and industrial dimensions.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has decades of experience in ideation for novel applications of microbial cell factories as well as optimization of established microbial processes in industry. Our team has expertise in employing synthetic biology tools for the genetic engineering of diverse microorganisms, conducting microbial fermentation ranging from microtiter scale to industrial scale, and utilizing high-throughput screening to identify unknown microbial conversions or gain insights into poorly understood ones.

Fermentation in Food

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research prides itself on harboring a unique cadre of in-house experts proficient in microbial physiology, growth phenotype screening, fermentation scaling (up or down), downstream processing, and food application testing. Our efforts have led to the development of an experimental pipeline dedicated to optimizing microbial food processes, where considerations of product quality, applicability, and challenges associated with process upscaling are integral components of each project. Our current clients and partners originate from, but are not limited to, fermented food manufacturers, probiotics production companies, Agricultural (side)stream refineries and flavor houses.

In precision fermentation we are world-renowned for several decades in protein production usingPichia Pastoris, placing a particular emphasis manufacturing diverse food products, including dairy proteins, plant-based meat proteins, food flavors, structural protein (gelatins) and enzymes.

Biobased Products

New fermentation processes accelerate the development of competing bulk and fine chemicals and even end products such as bioplastics. Proficiency in genetic engineering spans a diverse range of microorganisms, includingPseudomonas, Corynebacterium, Clostridiumspecies as well asYarrowia, Cryptococcus, Pichia Pastoris, Monascus ruber,Hansenula polymorpha, and other yeasts. 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 plastics and other materials, sustainable, biobased processes are not yet available.

Lab- to Pilot- to Industrial-Scale

Our cutting-edge laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art microbial culture facilities, featuring the ability to conduct pH-controlled, fed-batch cultures at a precise 1-2 mL scale. Additionally, we house multiple 2L industry-standard bioreactors capable of accommodating both aerobic and anaerobic conditions, providing a versatile platform for advanced research and experimentation. For pilot-scale production, we have on-site fermenter capacities ranging from 20L to 100L, with extensive experience in food-grade production. Our up and downstream processing and application studies involve a collaborative approach with in-house experts, ensuring the seamless transition from fermentation to final product formulation, often utilizing the fermented product directly in application studies.

Interested in the possibilities?

Contact us for an informal conversation.