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Sustainable nutrition

January 25, 2023

How to leverage the potential of natural yeast to create vegan products without additives for better health and protection of our planet

Everyone talks about diet change, and the reduction of animal food for our health and our planet. Ensuring global food safety is one of the most pressing issues of our generation. Therefore, substantial changes to the food system as we know it are required to feed a population surpassing 10 billion people by 2050. But it is not only the expected population increase that poses a challenge: it’s also the accompanying change in demand from consumers in developing countries for large quantities of animal protein.

Consumers need real incentives to make more environmentally conscious decisions. Nudging them toward a flexitarian diet will reduce the consumption and demand for animal products. To achieve this sustainably, though, ProteinDistillery believes that vegan alternatives must be almost indistinguishable from the animal original in any aspect – whether in taste, nutrition or in the absence of artificial additives.

In recent years, the alternative proteins industry has been growing exponentially, and that is just the beginning. A recent Boston Consulting Group report cited that the market opportunity for alternative proteins will reach US$290 billion by 2035, whether it is a plant-based protein or other alternative protein sources such as insects, cultured meat, seaweed or microorganism. Although some of these alternative protein sources still face considerable time to market due to regulatory, financial, and other hurdles, the plant-based protein industry has made significant progress. Still, it is increasingly running up against technological constraints.

Food companies spend a lot of money trying to replicate animal-based products as closely as possible. The problem is that animal protein has a different structure and function than plant-based protein. Therefore, food manufacturers inevitably must work with all additives – e.g. flavor enhancers or methylcellulose, the latter also found in wallpaper paste. Despite these ‘tricks’, alternative products often do not come close to the animal original, both in terms of taste experience and nutritional value. Hence, most consumers still reach for the animal original.

A matter of functionality

ProteinDistillery’s mission is to change this, relying on one of mankind’s oldest cultural techniques: fermentation. The company’s patent-pending refining process allows it to process a side stream of the brewing industry, yeast, with unprecedented precision. So far, butchers have separated the animal into its parts for thousands of years to obtain functional building blocks with flavoring and textural properties. Likewise, ProteinDistillery separates microorganisms, such as yeast, into functional building blocks to obtain flavoring and textural properties.

This way, the company obtains the most advanced vegan protein, which has the same functions as animal protein and, at the same time, is 100% natural in origin. This unique protein enables food manufacturers to produce healthy and tasty products that are free of additives and make vegan alternatives the first choice. 

ProteinDistillery separates microorganisms, such as yeast, into functional building blocks to obtain flavoring and textural properties

Circular economy and supply security

The upcycling of by-products such as brewer’s yeast for protein production is based on the circular economy approach and enables a resource-efficient process, minimal water and land use, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Compared to animal protein from beef, protein from brewer’s yeast uses 400 times less land, requires 250 times less water, and emits 80 times fewer greenhouse gases. Even compared to plant-based proteins – which have complex supply chains and are grown and processed in faraway countries – the ecological footprint can be lower as local side streams with unused potential are utilized.

Local production, where proteins are needed, keeps supply chains short and straightforward and creates supply security, especially now that the production is independent of season and weather and can take place 24/7 throughout the year. Moreover, the scalability of this solution is ensured, as the necessary side streams, such as brewer’s yeast, are produced in large quantities worldwide.

Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need for more suitable alternatives, such as those from ProteinDistillery, to accelerate the transition to more sustainable food. ProteinDistillery proves that natural protein based on yeast can provide the same functionality as animal products with a much lower ecological footprint – attracting both food manufacturers and consumers. In this way, ProteinDistillery is making a crucial contribution to the healthy and sustainable nutrition of the growing population.

For more information about ProteinDistillery, please click here

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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