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Precision Fermentation

 

Source: Live Mint

Context: R2 is a biomanufacturing facility in Karnataka, known for its precision fermentation technology.

  • It produces proteins without the need for traditional livestock farming, offering potential benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, land conservation, and a decrease in animal cruelty.

  

About Precision Fermentation:

  • Precision fermentation involves using microbes to produce proteins by giving them genetic instructions.
  • The process allows for the production of various proteins used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food, ranging from milk proteins and enzymes for cheese to components of human breast milk.

 

Significance:

  • The fermentation industry holds promise for sustainable food production, but concerns have been raised about the potential for consolidation by large food companies, potentially replicating issues seen in existing food systems.
  • The development of alternative proteins, including plant-based, cultivated meat, and fermentation-derived proteins, is gaining traction in India.
  • Start-ups and established brands are investing in the sector, and the market is showing a willingness to pay a premium for these products.
  • However, cultivated meat faces additional challenges due to high production costs and regulatory barriers.

  

Issues:

  • While these precision-fermentation-derived proteins are currently more expensive than those sourced from traditional methods, the industry aims to achieve cost reduction through innovation and technological advancements.