Cultivated meat is like the latest hit by Beyonce – everyone is talking about it, generating a ton of buzz. But just like how some of us can never give up our classic 80s jams, fermentation-based meat alternatives are making a comeback and proving that oldies can still be goodies. Precision fermentation is like Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill suddenly being played everywhere after Stranger Things’ latest season on Netflix. This tried-and-true technology delivers high-quality, sustainable, and delicious plant-based meat alternatives that amaze even the most skeptical meat lover. 

Fermentation has been around for thousands of years. By using microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria to convert sugars or carbohydrates into other compounds, humans have produced food and beverage products, such as bread, beer, cheese, and yogurt and more recently – protein. While traditional fermentation relies on natural processes and manual intervention, precision fermentation uses technology to control the fermentation process (temperature, pH, nutrient supply, and other parameters) and optimize the final product. In other words, precision fermentation acts as a mini-factory where microorganisms work to produce specific protein ingredients.

Precision Fermentation: food stall

Gauthier DELECROIX, Flickr

Precision Fermentation Gains Popularity in Asia

What makes precision fermentation so remarkable is its ability to start with basic raw ingredients, ranging from sugar to food waste. This makes it an ideal solution for producing protein in a way that has minimal impact on our environment. It comes as no surprise that Asia is leading the charge in fermentation-based protein production, thanks to a combination of tech advancements and consumers’ familiarity with fermented foods (think: tempeh).

For example, Lever-backed New Singularity is a biotech company that uses both biomass and precision fermentation to produce mycelium as a meat alternative (similar to the plant-based meat brand Quorn). Lever also helped bring to China, and provided first funding to, Blue Canopy, the first company in the country to produce real animal proteins from precision fermentation.

With its low carbon footprint, high efficiency, and scalability, this technology is paving the way to the next generation of meat alternatives – and Asia is taking the lead in its development and implementation. A bright future awaits precision fermentation, with the potential to drastically reduce the environmental impact of protein production.


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