Fermentation

Checkerspot and AAK to Produce Novel, Climate Change-Resistent Oils from Microalgae & Precision Fermentation

California’s Checkerspot and the Swedish company AAK have announced a partnership to develop, scale, and commercially produce novel algae oils for meat alternatives, plant-based food, and personal care products.

Checkerspot makes renewable oils using microalgae and precision fermentation for materials and food, and AKK specializes in value-adding vegetable oils for food, confectionery, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

“Everything we do, including our strategic partnerships, is in service of our mission to positively impact people and the planet.”

With this initiative, both companies aim to provide a sustainable alternative source of structuring fats and oils that can be manufactured at scale and are resistant to the impacts of climate change. Structuring fats and oils are used for products with healthier nutritional profiles, less fat, and better emulsion capabilities, including alt meat and bakery.

Scott Franklin, co-founder & CSO of Checkerspot, shared: “Our team at Checkerspot is able to identify and bring a strain of microalgae all the way through product development and scale up, for a cost-effective, market-ready solution that meets demanding consumer expectations. Everything we do, including our strategic partnerships, is in service of our mission to positively impact people and the planet.”

California’s Checkerspot and the Swedish company AAK have announced a partnership to develop, scale, and commercially produce novel algae oils for food and personal care.
© Checkerspot

Functional and sustainable oils

The edible oil industry is experiencing a wave of innovation. Companies are harnessing new technologies to create alternatives to traditional agricultural and animal-based fats and oils or unique human fats. Chekersport recently unveiled a fat analog that the company claims mimics the human milk fat known as OPO (Oleic-Palmitic-Oleic or sn-2 palmitate) for use in instant baby formula. 

Meanwhile, in its quest to find sustainable solutions, AKK is also working on a fermentation technology R&D project to develop microbial cell factories to produce specific fatty acids.

Other companies using precision fermentation to make specific fats include Zero Acre Farms, which makes cooking oil; Nourish Ingredients, which develops animal-free fat; Yali Bio and Cult Biosciences, both using yeasts to create fats; Melt&Marble, which develops “designer fats from scratch; and NoPalm Ingredients, which “brews” tailor-made fermented oils and fats.

Kim Olofsson, Global Head of R&D at AAK, commented, “Checkerspot’s growing portfolio of unique oils and their expertise in microalgae fermentation make them the ideal partner for us to collaborate with to meet the growing demand for alternatives that are both functional and sustainable.”




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