Cellular Agriculture and Fermentation

To meet the nutritional needs of a growing global population, the World Food and Agriculture Organization predicts that food production will need to increase by 70% in the future. At the same time, consumer preferences are changing as people make more deliberate food choices. Cellular agriculture can provide the nutritional products required by a growing population without encroaching on more land or further depleting natural resources. In addition, the production process takes place in a controlled environment and is largely developed based on established technologies.

What is Cellular Agriculture

Cellular agriculture refers to the use of individual cells or single-cell organisms from plants and animals to produce agricultural products. These products include meat, seafood, dairy products and other protein-rich foods and functional ingredients that are produced through tissue engineering or precision fermentation without the need to "culture" the whole animals or plants. Cellular agriculture grows rapidly over the next decade and plays an important role in meeting the nutritional needs of the future while reducing the stress on current food production systems and the environment.

Cultured meat production fuelled by fermentation.Fig 1. Cultured meat production fuelled by fermentation. (Singh, S.; et al. 2022)

The benefits of cellular agriculture products obtained from fermentation

  • Ability to offer similar or identical nutrient content
  • Meet high standards of consistency, safety and hygiene
  • Ensure food safety as it is not affected by seasonal and climatic changes
  • Minimize antimicrobial resistance by avoiding the use of animal antibiotics
  • Allow for selection of cell lines from animals with optimal traits or from species that are difficult to culture

Cellular Agriculture & Precision fermentation

Nowadays, cellular agriculture allows to produce genuine animal proteins through microbial precision fermentation. Cellular agriculture currently consists of two methods: cell cultivation and precision fermentation. The precision-fermentation method involves the application of microorganisms rather than cell cultures to produce milk or egg-white proteins. These products can be grown directly from microorganisms by introducing them into a microbiota such as yeast.

  • Protein Production

The process involves extracting the gene encoding the target protein from a donor organism, and inserting it into the DNA of the host. The host, usually a single-celled organism such as bacteria or yeast, is cultured in a fermentation tank to produce the target protein in large quantities. The produced protein is isolated from the host cells, purified and usually dried into powders that can be used as a sweetener, ingredient in dairy ice cream, egg white or collagen, etc.

  • Production of Plant Ingredients

Precise fermentation can also be used to produce plant components such as soy leghemoglobin. In the fermentation process, DNA is taken from a soy plant and inserted into yeast by genetic engineering. After the fermentation, soy heme, which is similar to animal heme, can be used in meat analogues to give a red or pink color with a meat-like texture and flavor.

Precision Fermentation: The Farming Of The Future?Fig 2. Precision Fermentation: The Farming Of The Future? (Burfitt, L. 2021)

Development of Fermentation Technology in Cellular Agriculture

  • Cell line selection

Optimize cell lines for genetic stability, ease to culture, flavor, texture, nutrition, and consumer preference.

  • Cell culture media

Shift from animal serum to chemically defined media for high cell density and reproducible results.

  • Scaffolding

Different scaffold materials are required to culture meat.

  • Bioreactors

Highly specific and customized food fermenters or bioreactors to meet the needs of culturing a range of different cell types.

Our Services

BOC Sciences provides fermentation CDMO service for Cellular Agriculture Industry. With our complete quality management system and strong fermentation capabilities, we are able to help customers facilitate their fermentation related projects and support them from laboratory to commercialization.

Workflow of Our Service

Workflow of Our Service


  1. Singh, S.; et al. Cultured meat production fuelled by fermentation. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 2022. 120: 48-58.
  2. Burfitt, L. Precision Fermentation: The Farming Of The Future?. Foodhack. 2021.

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