Zayt Bioscience Creates Fermented Fats to Combat Deforestation in Food Industry

Amr Aswad and Venkat Konasan founded the biotech startup Zayt Bioscience in Berlin, Germany, to create a new generation of fermented fats that do not come from agricultural commodities.

Palm and soybean oilseeds are the primary sources of oil, an essential product for food production, from chocolates to biscuits to margarine and frying fats. Additionally, plant oils find applications in various industries, such as cosmetics, cleaning products, and biofuel production.

However, according to an Our World in Data report, palm and soybean crops account for 18% of global deforestation annually, mainly in the global south.

Backed by the VC FoodLabs in a pre-seed funding round, Zayt Bioscience developed a patent-pending precision fermentation platform that uses microbes and fruit waste to make alternatives to palm oil and margarine. The proof of concept of the company’s technology is a prototype of a butter alternative (the company says that it is still looking for a name) that is said to remain solid at room temperature and to sizzle at high temperatures.

A petty dish with filled with fat
© Zayt Bioscience

Partnering to biomanufacture

The German biotech company needs to expand and increase the capacity of its platform to introduce a new product into the market successfully. To avoid additional capital expenditures and to focus on product development, Zayt Bioscience has partnered with Kynda, a German provider of ready-to-plug-and-play bioreactors. 

Kynda’s B2B services allow food and ingredient companies to install in-house fermentation units to generate revenue using their existing technology platforms. In the case of Zayt Bioscience, Kynda will enable the production of its alternative fats at larger capacities. FoodLabs has also backed Kynda’s approach to biomanufacturing, and the company recently secured a grant from Germany’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

As reported by Green Queen, the German biotech has opened seed funding to scale its productions and establish commercial partnerships to introduce its fat by the end of 2024. However, precision fermentation products fall under the EU’s novel foods regulation. 

“Our alliance with Kynda is going to shift some paradigms in German bio-manufacturing,” shared the company on social media.

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