On 2 February, the B4C “Bio-based Molecules and Related Processes” and “Food & Feed” member communities organised a webinar on sharing best practices for successful scale-up of fermentation processes. This event, which follows the Technical Day on food fermentation, gave the floor to several experts who spoke in particular about the obstacles linked to the scale-up of fermentation processes.
Successful upscaling is one of the main challenges for fermentation projects. A study carried out in 2022 by the BCG consultancy firm showed that 90% of biotechnology start-ups fail at the scale-up stage. This is a complex stage that involves increasing production volume while maintaining the initial quality of the product. Many factors must be taken into account: strain used, culture media, pH or oxygen level, stirring system, etc. The fermentation industry is also faced with material constraints, with a lack of platforms available to meet the demand for upscaling, as well as human constraints, with a lack of resources with the required skills to support the rapid development of the industry.
INSIGHTS FROM INVITED EXPERTS
Invited to speak during this webinar, Elise Bourcier, from C&DAC (agro-culinary consulting and development company), presented the keys to mastering food fermentation processes. As far as the food industry is concerned, fermentation has many advantages, such as preserving the product, modifying its taste and texture and enriching the intestinal flora. An overview of the different types of food fermentation was given, and Elise Boursier explained the settings that need to be controlled for successful industrialisation. The key word? Adapt the parameters to your fermentation project, work collaboratively with experts in the field and do not neglect the pre- and post-fermentation.)
For their part, Julien Cescut from TWB and Elise Blanchet from CRITT Bio-Industries explained the key stages in the development of a product, the variables to be controlled at each stage of the upscaling process, and the practices to be applied to simplify the development processes while maintaining the initial quality. The transition from the millilitre scale to the first litre and then to the hundred litres was discussed, as well as the recovery of effluents. t should be noted that INSA is planning to install a new platform to support scaling up to 2 m3 on its Toulouse site by 2025.
Another expert in this webinar was Stéphane Soum from Pivert, who explained the steps to be taken to industrialise a biotechnological and precision fermentation process. He recalled the importance of the virtuous circle of innovation and control of the downstream process (DSP), which represents 70% of the costs of the final process. Finally, the importance of integrating the price/market positioning, as well as the data collection and analysis phase when scaling up in fermentation, was mentioned.
USEFUL AND EFFECTIVE TOOLS PRESENTED BY B4C
This webinar was also an opportunity for B4C’s Innovate department to highlight various tools to its members: Pilot4Uwhich lists scale-up facilities on a European scale, the Capacitor mapping, ,which lists fermentation capacities on a global scale, and a directory of B4C members with scale-up skills, which is currently being developed. Finally, B4C presented to the participants its support offer for setting up European projects.
– Do you need guidance on the road to success?
Call on our DECIDE service for strategic advice on the bioeconomy
- Manon DETERNE, Competitive Intelligence Officer : [email protected]
- Pierre-Louis GUILLO, Competitive Intelligence Officer : [email protected]
– Do you need support to make your project a reality?
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- Audrey MAGNIN, Innovation Manager, « Bio-based Molecules & Related Processes » : [email protected]
- Jessy BAUDRY, Innovation Officer, « Food & Feed » : [email protected]
If you would like to receive a more detailed summary of the key lessons learned from this day on “Scaling up processes – Fermentation”, please contact Jessy BAUDRY (detailed summary available to B4C members only).