19 Nov 2020

Environmental impact analysis of a novel food ingredient

The Protein Brewery

Recently we conducted an ISO-reviewed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Fermontein™, an innovative food ingredient which is used in vegetarian and vegan food products, produced by The Protein Brewery. Products like Fermontein™ respond to the growing market for plant-based food ingredients, ensuring to feed the rising world population.

The innovative and sustainable profile of Fermontein™ has been noticed by investors and The Protein Brewery was granted with an investment of €22 million.

Growing market for plant-based food ingredients

The market for plant-based protein is rising and the transition from animal-based protein to plant-based protein has received a lot of attention. The increasing pressure to meet the future demand for food supporting a population of 10 billion people by 2050; combat the difficulties in sourcing additional raw materials and reduce the environmental impact concurrently has led public and private entities to search for alternative scenarios. Acknowledging the need for ‘novel’ ingredients, the environmental performance of potential innovations is an essential factor. The Protein Brewery is a developer of such innovative food ingredients. The Protein Brewery wished to gain more insight in the environmental profile of their product Fermontein™ and to understand how their products compare to ‘conventional’ alternatives, like meat and meat substitutes. We did an environmental analysis according to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, which was critically reviewed according to ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. The innovative and sustainable profile of the products drew attention, and The Protein Brewery raised a €22 million Series A investment recently.

About The Protein Brewery

The Protein Brewery was founded in January 2020, resulting from a demerger of BiocienZ, an industrial biotechnology company developing new technologies based on microbial fermentation as a core competence. The Series A funding will enable The Protein Brewery to continue its R&D, cover operational costs as well as scale up production of Fermontein™.

Environmental profile of Fermontein™

The production of Fermontein™ consists of a combination of The Protein Brewery’s proprietary microorganisms (‘fungi’) combined with a brewing process, resulting in a product which has an amino acid composition similar to conventional meat. Fermontein™ can be produced from various crops, which are globally available, such as casava, potatoes, sugar beet and sugar cane. We conducted an LCA of Fermontein™ which reveals that the product has a favorable environmental profile compared to meat products and vegetarian and vegan alternative products.

More information

If you have questions about this project, or if you want an ISO-reviewed Life Cycle Assessment of your innovation? Contact Jasper Scholten or call +31 182 579970.

Jasper Scholten
Director Consultancy