The multi-year partnership includes the development of specific proteins using microbial fermentation technology, with the US firm contracted for all phases of product development up until commercial launch.
California-based Triplebar Bio Inc. deploys a proprietary platform, which can analyze animal and microbial cell lines 10,000 times faster than conventional screening methods. The firm uses this to discover and develop products with the most suitable characteristics for a particular application.
“While we've been using precision fermentation to produce human milk oligosaccharides since 2016, creating dairy-like proteins at scale using precision fermentation is an entirely different proposition,” opened Anne Peter Lindeboom, managing director, innovation, at FrieslandCampina Ingredients. “We always want the people with the most relevant expertise to work on developing new solutions, that’s why we’re partnering with Triplebar.”
The FrieslandCampina Ingredients’ team ‘will support’ Triplebar ‘to jointly create a new frontier in protein innovation,’ Lindeboom added.
“We chose Triplebar as our partner on this project because of their specific, high-volume evolutionary technology that will help us produce proteins using this cutting-edge technology on a commercial scale. By combining the biotechnology expertise of Triplebar with the processing technology and market expertise of FrieslandCampina Ingredients, we will create a strong and complementary partnership.”
The ingredients developed under the terms will be launched worldwide, with a focus on the US, EU and Southeast Asia, DairyReporter understands.
“Once we’re ready to launch, we will be focusing on our existing markets in the adult and infant nutrition sectors,” Lindeboom explained. “This will include medical nutrition, performance nutrition and active lifestyle nutrition and comprises a global scope including the US and EU. Therefore, we’re preparing for FDA and EFSA registrations.”
To meet their ambitions to launch multiple protein ingredients at a widespread commercial scale, the two companies are set to combine different technologies, like upstream fermentation, downstream processing, and drying technology.
Changing consumer perceptions
In a recently-released forecast covering the period between 2022 and 2030, Polaris Market Research estimates that the global precision fermentation market will expand at 48.3% CAGR and reach a valuation of US$37.35bn by 2030. According to the research, North America had the largest revenue share in the category, driven mainly by developments in the dairy alternatives segment as well as meat analogs.
Over in Europe, research carried out by UK-based University of Bath and German precision fermentation company Formo found that there’s acceptance towards animal-free cheese produced through precision fermentation in major markets like Germany, the UK and the US, though many said they were ‘unsure’ about the technology.
Lindeboom commented: “Consumer perceptions are moving quickly and, globally, people are much more comfortable with the concept of alternative proteins – especially in light of today’s challenges putting pressure and extra demand on protein production. “However, we understand that precision fermentation is still very new, and we know some people will always prefer more traditional dairy ingredients.
“We're hoping to win over any uncertain consumers when we're able to launch a highly functional ingredient that supports people with specialised nutritional needs with a minimal impact on the environment. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so we'll wait until then!”