Fermentation: ‘They brew it, you chew it’
“If you really want to capture that original flavour, you have to put that original molecule in.” - James Petrie, Co-founder and CEO, Nourish
Creating these fats and oils is produced using a scientific method dating back centuries.
Nourish sprinkles some magic into this process, tailoring the DNA of proprietary strains of the yeasts and cultivating them in calibrated environments. This methodology allows Nourish to customise the flavours and textures to best suit the specific products, be it beef, pork, cheese, yoghurt - anything, completely animal-free.
The lipid engineers at Nourish, experts in fats and fatty acid chains, utilise synthetic biology to tweak the biochemical formulas of their yeasts. By essentially remapping the metabolic pathways of the yeast organism, they can ultimately tell the yeasts what types of fats and oils they want to be produced.
James would explain how Nourish came to the conclusion that fermentation was the way forward.
"When you look at a problem like this, the first thing we looked at is what organisms on this planet are capable of making a lot of oil or a lot of fat. (...) at that point we said (yeast) fermentation is the real winner here because we can do it really fast, we can make products pretty quickly for the market, and we can get to a point where people can actually taste this stuff and see how it's working in a matter of weeks or months rather than a decade."
Effectively the production pipeline works like so. Yeast and sugar are combined in a fermenter reactor. Here the yeasts eat the sugars, and the product of fermentation results in the fats and oils. These tailored fats and oils can then be incorporated into existing plant-based products.
But how are Nourish getting its products to market?