Myth: Modern foods are only able to replicate the animal products we already have

 |  6 May 2024

False. Because modern products are built from the ground up and not broken down from a predetermined set, the possibilities for end products are unlimited.

Precision Fermentation is an incredibly versatile technology, where genetically engineering microorganisms are programmed to produce any molecules we want. Typically, this is done by taking the protein-building genes from an organism that naturally produces the protein we want and inserting it into the microorganism. The microorganism now creates the product in the same way that the natural organism does.

There are endless combinations of protein functions, fats, flavours, aromas and nutrition profiles that can be conceived of and produced.

On top of this, relatively recent advances in genetic sequencing, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence and deep learning technologies have expanded what is possible in the realm of protein design, cataloguing and production. This means that researchers and companies can create completely new proteins with new functions that do not resemble anything we have in nature, at a reasonable cost.

At the beginning stages of the disruption of food and agriculture, we do expect to mostly see replications of the animal foods we already have because it provides companies a clear goal and because such products may be more appealing to consumers initially. Eventually, however, we fully expect to see much more creativity and a wide variety of new and never-seen-before offerings.

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Witness the transformation

We are on the cusp of the deepest, fastest, most consequential disruption in food and agricultural production since the first domestication of plants and animals 10,000 years ago.

This is primarily a protein disruption driven by economics. The cost of modern proteins will be five times cheaper than existing animal proteins by 2030 and 10 times cheaper by 2035. Eventually, they will be nearly as cheap as sugar. They will also be superior in every key attribute–more nutritious, healthier, better tasting and more convenient, with almost unimaginable variety.

Learn more about the disruption and transformation of the food & agriculture sector.

Published on: 12/07/23

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