Superbrewed Food secures self-affirmed GRAS status for ‘postbiotic cultured protein,’ expects first product launches in 2023

Susan S. Johnson

Unlike ‘precision fermentation’ startups deploying synthetic biology to genetically engineer microbes to produce target molecules, or companies extracting and isolating proteins from soy or peas, Superbrewed Food is growing Non GMO microbes (in this case, a bacterium commonly found in the human gut) for consumption as a whole food source.

While some other players such as Nature’s Fynd also grow protein-packed microbes as whole foods (sometimes referred to as ‘biomass’ fermentation), Superbrewed Food’s microbes are naturally much higher in protein (80%+), said Tracy, who plans to submit a GRAS notification to the FDA after an independent panel of experts found the firm had “demonstrated safety for consumption in a broad range of food applications, and that the ingredient poses limited risk as a food allergen.”

‘The initial thrust is animal-free milks, cheese, creamer, yogurt, ice cream, nutritional beverages, healthy snacks and baked goods’

But what’s the attraction for food companies that are looking for new more sustainable sources of protein, but also want to use ingredients that consumers can recognize and understand?

According to Tracy – who has built commercial-scale production capacity for the ingredient and expects the first products containing it to hit shelves next year – the ingredient has a neutral taste, natural white color, excellent pH and temperature stability, and good emulsification properties. “Before you dry it, it looks just like milk.”

As for interest from industry, he said, “The initial thrust is animal-free milks, cheese, creamer, yogurt, ice cream, nutritional beverages, healthy snacks and baked goods” ​where it can be used to replace eggs in brownies and dessert breads, or to create high protein tortillas, for example.

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