Due to various factors, such as the nitrogen crisis, the food market is under increasing pressure. The demand for alternative (green) protein sources is currently greater than ever. The most well-known alternative proteins are vegetable products such as soy, nuts and rice products. Due to the increasing demand and the sometimes polluting production process for these products, the search for truly sustainable protein substitutes is still in full swing.
A potentially promising concept, which is still in its infancy, is the production of cultured meat. To produce cultured meat, a small number of cells are removed from, for example, cows. The cells are grown in a tightly controlled environment where cell division takes place and the mass grows slowly. Starting from a (small) lab scale, this growth continues in increasingly larger containers until there is enough cultured meat to be processed into food. The final result of this process is 100% real meat and can therefore be just as tasty and nutritious as a hamburger. The impact on the environment for the production and consumption of cultured meat is many times smaller due to this efficient way of growing.
Fungi, such as mushrooms consumed directly, can also contain high levels of protein, which can also be used as the basis for a vegetarian meat substitute. By mixing in powdered protein-rich fungi, vegetable-based meat substitutes can provide the same nutritional value as real meat. These fungi are cultivated just like cultured meat, so that an efficient growth process can be achieved.
Growing cultured meat and protein-rich fungi requires an environment that is very well controlled and protected. The processes only work under the exact right amount of nutrients and the right balance in temperature, pH and oxygen content, among other things. Sugar, water, air or acids/bases are introduced into the reactors in which these fragile products grow.
To ensure that no undesirable substances enter the reactor, it is very important that the streams are filtered correctly. The processes are also extremely susceptible to bacteria, which means a good sterile filter is often the only salvation against expensive production failures. BÈTA industry thinks along and provides the most critical filters for the production of protein substitutes from lab scale to the end product. In this way, BÈTA industry likes to contribute to the development of sustainable food.