Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) combines knowledge and expertise within this PPP project to address the safety and authenticity challenges posed by the novelty of precision fermentation. We will work on new intrinsic and extrinsic safety features, including regulatory product approval and continuous operational safety management of the production chain of novel dairy and egg replacers. An inventory and assessment of the (conventional) potential hazards will aid stakeholders in this field to develop safe cell-based production chains and end products.
New food safety challenges in precision fermentation
Precision fermentation employs (genetically modified) microorganisms (yeast, fungi, bacteria, microalgae) as “cell factories” for the cost-effective and
large-scale production of analogues of animal proteins, lipids and
oligosaccharides. These show huge potential as alternatives for food
ingredients obtained from animal production, such as milk or eggs, thereby
contributing to a sustainable, animal-free, and resilient food supply.
Developments of these innovative production methods and applications in diverse and novel products are gaining ground rapidly. However, they also pose new challenges, for developers, manufacturers, and traders seeking safe and authentic
(animal-free) products. Overcoming these challenges is a key factor for
commercial success. A number of the food safety challenges associated with precision fermentation will be addressed in this project.
An inventory and assessment of the (conventional) potential hazards will aid stakeholders in this field to develop safe cell-based production chains and end products. Relevant food safety topics may include (amongst others):
- The safe use and detection of food ingredients derived from genetically modified micro-organisms;
- Chemical and biological hazards in the upstream and downstream processes of the production chain from substrate to end-product;
- Authenticity control of food products containing precision fermentation products;
- Allergenicity of in vitro-produced animal proteins (e.g., protein modifications);
- Nutritional value and digestibility of food products containing precision fermentation ingredients;
- Socio-economic aspects and acceptance.
This PPP project aims to address the safety and authenticity challenges posed by the novelty of precision fermentation. It will do so for new intrinsic and extrinsic safety features, including regulatory product approval and continuous operational safety management of the production chain. It will identify and analyze potential food safety hazards in different food production chains based on precision fermentation: from substrate to end-product and consumer.
Interested? Let us know!
All interested parties are welcome to join us in this multi-year (max. 4 year) Public
Private Partnership (PPP). Especially food and feed companies or organizations
that are active and/or interested in the development of alternatives for dairy
and egg ingredients and products, precision fermentation companies, technology
providers, and consultancy organizations and service providers in the biotechnology sector are invited to respond. We will be aiming at a government
funding of 50% and a co-financing from industry of 50% (of which max. half can
be in-kind contribution).