Danone aims to scale up precision fermentation process

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The Biotech Open Platform hopes to scale up precision fermentation processes by 2025. Credit: Getty / endopack
The Biotech Open Platform hopes to scale up precision fermentation processes by 2025. Credit: Getty / endopack
Global F&B firm Danone has formed a new advanced fermentation platform along with several industry partners.

Working in tandem with tyre manufacturer Michelin, US start-up DMC Biotechnologies and investor Crédit Agricole Centre France, Danone has agreed to create the Biotech Open Platform, which is aimed at bolstering the development of advanced fermentation processes, and precision fermentation in particular.

Precision fermentation is a biotechnological process that can produce bio-based materials and ingredients, and the platform is keen to find new ways in which this process can be developed on a larger scale.

With an investment of more than €16m in the first phase, the industrial and technological platform will be located in Clermont-Ferrand within the Parc Cataroux Center for Sustainable Materials, an innovation accelerator supported by Michelin.

The Biotech Open Platform is also receiving support from institutions including the University of Clermont Auvergne, Greentech, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Clermont Auvergne Métropole.

As the food and drink industry searches for more sustainable solutions, biotechnology offers a promising alternative. Using microorganisms like bacteria, yeast or fungi, precision fermentation can produce proteins, enzymes and other molecules that are used in industry.

The founders of the Biotech Open Platform aim to install an initial demo-scale production line, including a fermenter and purification equipment by 2025, before installing additional equipment and a second production line in the following years.

This ramp-up will enable the platform to meet the scale-up needs of its founders and to gradually open it up to other companies facing the challenge of scaling up in the industrial biomanufacturing sector.

Danone CEO Antoine de Saint-Affrique commented: “At Danone, we have always been focused on investing in the future of food, and this partnership is the next step in this journey.

“We look forward to working with our partners to develop cutting-edge fermentation technologies which will accelerate innovation, health benefits and decarbonization in the food industry. We are proud to be part of this collective effort and to strengthen our contribution to meet the challenges facing the industry today."

Meanwhile, DMC chief executive Kenny Erdoes added: “We are enthusiastic about this new partnership with companies that are at the heart of French life. For us, as an American start-up, the development of the new Biotech Open Platform will enable us to accelerate the scale-up and commercialization of new products leveraging our transformative fermentation technology."

In other news, complaints about five major retailers have been submitted to trading standards bodies across the UK about ‘misleading’ claims on bread packaging.

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