This seminar series organized by the EFFoST Working Group on Sustainable Food Systems aims to provide detailed insights into various facets of sustainability in the food sector. The seminars will include expert talks, practical indications from industry professionals, as well as short presentations from selected early-stage researchers.
Seminar - Microorganisms as an enabler of future sustainable food systems
Session Chairs: Arthur Robin & Felix Schottroff
To address the ambitious objectives concerning the sustainable development of our planet in the future, it is imperative for the food sector to take immediate action and play its part in driving societal transformation. Given that the production of food raw materials, such as crop cultivation and animal farming, accounts for the most significant portion of environmental impacts, notably greenhouse gas emissions, it stands as the foremost opportunity for innovation and change.
When: Monday, 23 October 2023 - 13:00-15:00 (CET)
Cost: free of charge
Talk 1: Beyond agriculture – Edible microorganisms and the next revolution in food production
Tomas Linder, associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
Throughout our entire existence as a species, humans have ultimately relied on plants for the supply of metabolically available carbon and nitrogen in the form of sugars, fats and proteins – “food”. The transition from foraging to agriculture was the catalyst for the development of complex societies by significantly increasing the amount of food that could be harvested from a given area of land per unit time. However, our continued reliance on photosynthesis for food production has brought us to the current moment where we find ourselves with increasing food demand while simultaneously running out of arable land and freshwater. And as if that was not enough, our changing climate threatens future agricultural productivity. To solve this problem, we must think “beyond agriculture” and focus on the central issue – how to produce “food” (defined as any combination of carbohydrates, fats and protein that is digestible and non-toxic to humans) in a way that (1) decouples food production from photosynthetic capacity, (2) uses natural resources in a sustainable fashion and (3) ensures that the global food production system is resilient enough to tolerate future climate perturbations. Edible microorganisms – including bacteria, yeasts, and filamentous fungi – offer such a solution. This talk will describe and discuss the fundamental properties of microorganisms that will make them an essential tool in the next revolution in food production this century.
Talk 2: Microbial proteins as a sustainable alternative to animal-derived foods
Eran Noah, Remilk Ltd., Ness Ziona, Israel
The deliberate production of food ingredients in microbial cells by means of precision fermentation can be used to generate proteins usually derived from animals without the need for the corresponding farming activities. On the example of microbial dairy proteins, this talk will show benefits and potential advantages of this technology, as well as its impact on sustainability.
Talk 3: Microbial fats and oils: sustainable and functional?
Dimitri Zogg, Cultivated Biosciences SA, Wädenswil, Switzerland
Dairy production has a larger than expected impact on the environment and the plant-based alternatives still fail to convince the consumers. The production and use of microbial fats and oils can overcome this issue. This presentation will thus focus on advantages of using fermentationbased fat as well as challenges which arise and must be solved, including environmental impacts but also regarding scaling-up, techno-function properties of microbial fats in comparison to their plant or animal derived counterparts.
Talk 4: Market entry and barriers for microbial foods and how to overcome them
Pauliina Halimaa, Biosafe, Finland
Legislation within the European Union may be a complex yet useful tool to protect markets and societies. In terms of microbial food resources, issues including the novel food regulation as well as legal status and acceptance of genetically modified organisms constitute potential barriers for the market entry of innovative products. Therefore, this talk will show challenges as well as potential solutions which arise when using microorganisms and microorganism-derived products as food.
After the presentations, the speakers will be available for a panel discussion involving the audience.
You are also kindly invited to join the upcoming events:
Date & Time
Sustainable sourcing of food raw materials – the “elephant” in
the global food carbon footprint room
January 2024 – TBA
Networking session at the EFFoST Conference
Further information: http://www.effostconference.com/
06. - 08.11.2023
Short presentations from the scientific community (esp. PhD students & Post Docs) are warmly welcomed. If interested, please email a short abstract (300 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org
Further infos on the seminars and registration can be found here.
Scientific board: Felix Schottroff, Henry Jäger, Arthur Robin, Kelly Fourtouni, Sergiy Smetana, Anet Režek Jambrak, Hugo de Vries.