Yeast Will be Instrumental In The Next Level of Food Tech

yeast under a microscope

Earlier this year, Foodable reported on products from companies like Beyond Meat, which is looking to replace animal meat by using a plant-based product for its Beyond Burgers, and Ripple, which is a company offering a milk-like product strictly made out of peas. Those are just a couple of examples of a larger move towards plant-based or alternative protein.

Thanks to the recent low costs associated with biotech, like DNA sequencing and cheap equipment, a handful of startups, mainly concentrated around the Bay Area, are “using a biotech process called fermentation to make animal products,” reports “Fortune.”

What is interesting is that these companies is the fact that they don’t need the animals to create these products.

The fermentation process involves yeast, or “little factories,” as referred to by Clara CEO Arturo Elizondo. “They can be programmed to make essentially anything and are critical to fermentation.”

If this is the case, it looks like through fermentation, commodities, like food, could be engineered in a lab at an affordable price point.

This could potentially disrupt the food industry as we know it today.

As “Fortune” reports, these future foods would not be considered genetically modified organisms if the actual animal cells are purified out of the equation at the end of the process. What one would get is the protein without the altered yeast, making these products acellular as opposed to cellular (containing animal cells). This is good news for vegetarians and vegans.

To learn more about fermentation and which startups are applying this process in their products, read “Fortune.”