Bühler and ZETA partner to engineer food and feed biotechnology plants

AUSTRIA— Swiss Bühler Group and Austrian pharmaceutical and biotechnology company ZETA have formed a joint venture company Eridia that will engineer food and feed biotechnology plants primarily in the fields of precision fermentation and cellular agriculture.

Eridia, headquartered in Leobendorf, Austria, is a 50/50 joint venture that will develop solutions to meet the rising global demand for food and feed while reducing the impact on the environment.

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“Technologies such as precision fermentation and cellular agriculture offer the potential to drastically reduce the land and carbon footprints of food and feed production. This is a potential pathway to produce food and feed for a growing world population whilst respecting the limits of the planet,” says Ian Roberts, Chief Technology Officer, Bühler.

The 50/50 joint venture, Eridia will enable Bühler and ZETA to contribute further to the field of precision fermentation as well as to the newer field of cellular agriculture.

Precision fermentation uses microorganisms as cell factories to efficiently produce valuable nutrients and functional ingredients such as proteins, omega-3 rich oils, or natural pigments.

Developed further cellular agriculture can be used to recreate animal products such as meat or fish, that are identical in structure and taste to the animal counterpart without raising animals.

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Advancements in this field can help alleviate the pressure on ecosystems by reducing the impact of food and feed production on arable land, biodiversity, and greenhouse gas emissions.

ZETA brings extensive experience in scaling pilot scale to industrial bio pharma. It supports the scale-up of fermentation processes from laboratory to industrial production and will apply this expertise to the field of cell culture fermentation for the food industry.

On the other hand, Bühler is a market leader in providing technology and processing expertise for the food and feed industry and is exploring new applications and technology developments in these fields.

These are in line with its target to have solutions ready to multiply that reduce by 50% the energy, waste, and water in its customers’ value chains by 2025.

The new company will have its headquarters in Leobendorf, Austria, but also leverage the Bühler innovation campus in Uzwil, Switzerland. Erika Georget, Head of Bioprocessing at Bühler, and Claudia Neuhold, Business Development Food and Biotech at ZETA, will join the managing team of Eridia.

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Erika Georget said that given the steady growth of the fermentation and cultured foods spaces, this joint venture with ZETA offers Bühler a great opportunity to support customers in their next steps in developing production for the food and feed system.

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