MicroHarvest Becomes Food Fermentation Europe’s First Biomass Fermentation Member

German biotech MicroHarvest announces that it has become the first biomass fermentation company to join Food Fermentation Europe‘s efforts to create more sustainable food systems by unlocking the potential of fermentation-enabled food production.

Food Fermentation Europe (FFE) was established in 2023 by Better Dairy, Formo, Imagindairy, Onego Bio, and Those Vegan Cowboys, which leverage precision fermentation to produce animal-free food products. Standing Ovation, Vivici, and Bon Vivant, have also joined the alliance.

Precision fermentation involves modifying microorganisms to produce specific ingredients. In contrast, biomass fermentation uses the high protein content and rapid growth of microorganisms to “efficiently make highly scalable amounts of protein-rich foods,” explains MicroHarvest.

Jevan Nagarajah, FFE President and CEO of Better Dairy, shared: “We are delighted to welcome MicroHarvest into our alliance as our first biomass fermentation member. Leveraging their unique perspectives, we will continue to chart new frontiers for European food systems and pave the way for a more environmentally conscious future.”

MicroHarvest lab and pilot plant in operation
© MicroHarvest

Fermentation-enabled solutions

MicroHarvest has secured €10 million to date, including an €8.5 million Series A funding round led by Astanor Ventures and €1.5 million from Simon Capital, for its novel, scalable, competitive, and sustainable protein ingredient for feed, pet food, or human food products.

According to the company, its fermentation process can produce a biomass in just 24 hours from input to output, using a fraction of the resources required for many other alternative proteins. On the back of this production timeline, the company says that it has successfully scaled to 300 kg per day.  

With headquarters in Hamburg and a recently opened pilot facility in Lisbon, where the company develops prototypes, the company is closer to commercialization.  

The innovative startup received a BloombergNEF Pioneers Award last year for its innovation in fermented ingredients.

A protein rich ingredient made with biomass fermentation
Image courtesy of MicroHarvest

Greater impact with FFE

MicroHarvest states that its expertise in biomass fermentation opens up new opportunities for collaboration with other industry players, paving the way for the development of next generation protein-rich foods. 

Katelijne Bekers, co-founder and CEO of MicroHarvest, comments: “We’ve made some great progress alone but together with FFE we can make an ever greater impact, we are thrilled to join the ranks. 

“We look forward to listening to different partners and exploring the full potential of fermentation-enabled solutions. By communicating and, most importantly, acting together, we can drive positive change in the food system. We believe the world will be eager to learn what food fermentation can do for it.”

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