Fooditive to scale bee-free honey amid rising pressure around animal welfare
15 Nov 2022 --- Dutch plant-based ingredients producer Fooditive is on track to begin large-scale production trials of the world’s first 100% bee-free honey next year. As well as providing all the benefits of traditional honey, this will address consumer concerns about animal welfare and sustainability.
Fooditive aims to create a scalable, provenanced supply by mass producing bioidentical honey that eliminates the need to farm honey bees intensively.
Using the same patented biotech process already used to create Fooditive’s vegan casein, honey DNA is copied into a proprietary yeast strain.
When fed with nutrients and precision-fermented to replicate the metabolic processes that occur in the honeybee’s stomach, this yields a product with the same characteristics and functionality of bee-produced honey – from taste, color and viscosity to its health benefits.
No compromise on taste
The production trials will recreate the lab-proven concept in 1,000 liter fermenters, with samples to be made available for potential customers to test in their applications.
“Our goal is to provide the world’s first 100% bee-free honey without compromising on taste, quality or price. The process of genetic sequence modification used in our honey already has an established track record with our vegan casein,” says Fooditive founder and CEO Moayad Abushokhedim.
“We believe our process will be the stepping stone for a revolutionary advancement in the food and biotechnology industries, enabling any animal product to be mimicked and even improved by bioengineering plant-based ingredients.”
The development of Fooditive’s bee-free honey has been driven by concerns that common apicultural management practices in commercial beekeeping can be detrimental to the welfare of farmed honeybees and wild bee species that together play a vital role in pollination, increasing the risk of disease that can lead to colony collapse and declining wild populations.
The global honey market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.2% between 2022 and 2030 due to increased demand from consumers who want to reduce white sugar use and focus on more nutritious ingredients, according to Honey Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Grand View Research.
Honey is rich in vitamins, minerals and calcium and also has medical applications, displaying anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-cancer activity.
Moves in animal-free food production
The move toward animal-free produce is gaining traction across many F&B sectors. Among Fooditive’s other launches is GoPeasy, a pea-based dairy-free beverage that mimics the taste of milk. The beverage aligns with the company’s strategy to offer healthy and affordable products.
In other moves, cultured beef steak innovator Aleph Farms is scaling its product line to include a unique platform for cell-based collagen production without using cows.
Researchers have also developed high-protein microalgae strains boasting improved taste – upscaled by Allmicroalgae. The strain could be used in products like vegan sausages, snacks, soups and vegetable creams, sports drinks, bread and pasta – all with improved nutritional quality and desirable sensory properties.
Edited by Elizabeth Green
This feature is provided by NutritionInsight’s sister website, FoodIngredientsFirst.
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