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Making earnest plant protein with lacto-fermentation

The Danish biotech company Fermentationexperts is specialising in scalable technologies used for lactic acid fermentation of food and feed. The unique process is called solid-state-fermentation and uses less water and energy and produces little waste compared to other fermentation technologies. As the carbon footprint is lower, and the price is competitive, fermented foods are a great alternative to other plant-based and meat-based products.

Have you ever read the declaration on the back of plant proteins? If so, you might know that many meat alternatives have a long ingredient list. In addition, some of the plants used in the production of meat replacements are grown on entirely different continents. Yet, Fermentationexperts has made it possible to mix nearly every plant or protein source to create almost any amino acid profile. At the same time, the carbon footprint is minimised by processing the protein less – often in a wet form which can be directly involved in the process, thereby, reducing the drying process.

Natural, tasty, and nutritious plant proteins

Fermentationsexperts aims to alleviate the downsides of plant protein by providing consumers with local, textured, tasty, sustainable, and naturally conserved healthy plant protein. This can be done at a reasonable price, without any additives or E-numbers, and with a short-listed label with natural ingredients. Another benefit is that the production of lactic acid bacteria is very scalable and that the facilities can be set up locally to provide protein to local markets. After testing the fermentation process on plant protein and making application tests, the company is now planning its first pilot plant for fermenting plant protein for human consumption.

The fermentation process increases the nutritional value of the plant protein as it breaks down fibers and proteins in the plants

Fermentation fights poor food quality

Fermentationexperts uses lactic acid bacteria for the fermentation process, reducing the pH of the plant protein to a level where unwanted bacteria cannot survive. This means that the product is naturally conserved without using any conservation additives. Furthermore, the fermentation process increases the nutritional value of the plant protein as it breaks down fibers and proteins in the plants. As a result, up to 15% more plant protein and additional minerals are released.

Fermentation decreases many toxins and bitter-tasting components in crops. This includes glucosinolates in rapeseed meal, saponins in different plants and beans, as well as glycoalkaloids in potatoes. Glutamic acid, known for its meaty umami flavour, is also produced. Some plant proteins contain antinutritional factors, which can cause allergic reactions. When fermenting, these compounds are reduced, allowing more people to enjoy different sources of plant protein.