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Planetary’s Mission to Overcome the ‘Fermentation Bottleneck’

Planetary's Mission to Overcome the 'Fermentation Bottleneck' 07, alternative protein, alternative proteins, Beverage, business, Cultures, dairy, dairy alternatives, Dairy-based ingredients, enzymes, Fats & oils, Fermentation, fish and savoury ingredients, Flavours and colours, food safety, food tech, Innovation and NPD, meat, mycoprotein, precision, precision fermentation, Proteins, Start-ups and disruptors, Sustainability, vegan, yeast Food and Beverage Business

“Planetary’s mission is to overcome the ‘fermentation bottleneck’ in the food and beverage industry by unblocking the problem and advancing new, more ‘sustainable’ methods of food production. The increasing popularity of fermentation-derived proteins and fats is driving businesses to turn to microorganisms such as fungi and yeast to replace animal-derived ingredients. This, however, has highlighted the challenge and expense of developing the necessary equipment to produce these ingredients. But what’s causing the ‘fermentation bottleneck’ and how is Planetary addressing this issue?

What is the cause of the fermentation bottleneck? According to Planetary, there is a shortage of food-specific infrastructure with the correct upstream volumes, downstream equipment, site location, and relevant certifications. As a result, the facilities available are largely ex-pharmaceutical, is ‘overpriced, overspec’d and incorrectly sized’ and the fermentation tank size is a critical consideration, especially for commodity compounds and proteins such as milk or egg proteins.

To tackle this problem, Planetary is taking a two-pronged approach. The start-up is developing a contract manufacturing platform for precision fermentation companies to produce microbial strains and a biomass fermentation platform to produce its own mycoprotein ingredients. The company plans to expand globally and has already onboarded companies to begin its operations. They are also working to develop strategies to drive down costs and improve the overall efficiency of the production process. Additionally, Planetary is actively identifying and developing strategies to drive down costs in unit economics and capital expenditures, as well as improving the quality attributes of the final products.

By leveraging these strategies, the company aims to bring down production costs by up to 30%, narrowing the margin between fermentation-derived dairy and proteins and traditional animal-based alternatives. The startup is also partnering with industry leaders to further optimize microbial fermentation using advanced sensor technology and artificial intelligence. These technologies enable real-time monitoring and control of the bioprocess, allowing for high-speed detection, collection of bioprocess data sets, and automatic translation into process recommendations, further improving efficiency. Planetary also aims to expand its biomass fermentation operations and research on fungi strains that it hopes to bring to the market down the line.

While the demand for capacity far exceeds supply, Planetary is striving to address this bottleneck and advance new, more ‘sustainable’ methods of food production. The company’s efforts demonstrate its commitment to innovation and sustainability within the food and beverage industry as it works to meet the changing demands of modern consumers.”

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