Strengthening safety protocols for the production of animal-free dairy proteins

Published on
July 4, 2023

The SAFERMENT project has been launched, which aims at enhancing the safety of animal-free dairy protein production. Participants in the 4-year SAFERMENT project are (inter)national research institutes and industrial partners. Wageningen Food Safety Research is coordinating the project.

Animal-free proteins are produced through precision fermentation technology, in which micro-organisms undergo targeted genetic enhancements to produce ingredients that were previously only sourced from animals. In this way, micro-organisms can play a role in the “protein transition”, a development that aims to increase the availability of animal-free proteins that have been produced in a safe and sustainable manner.

Food safety

Research in SAFERMENT focuses on the potential food safety aspects in the entire production chain of animal-free dairy proteins, from factory to end product and consumer. Researchers will examine the allergenic properties of dairy proteins produced by micro-organisms, and in the context of food fraud study the biochemical differences between these proteins and dairy proteins derived from animals. The project also aims to identify and mitigate potential food safety hazards that may arise in each step of the novel production processes. In addition, the project investigates consumer attitudes and acceptance of food products containing animal-free proteins produced using precision fermentation.

Do you want to be a partner?

This Public Private Partnership (PPP) is funded by the Dutch Top Sector Agri & Food and is a collaboration between the research institutes Wageningen Food Safety Research, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University - Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, NIZO Food Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and the private companies Those Vegan Cowboys, TurtleTree Labs, Real Deal Milk, Fonterra and Abbott Laboratories.

The project consortium still has room for additional industrial partners. If you are interested to join, we invite you to contact us.