The SAFERMENT project has been launched in July 2023, which aims at enhancing the safety of animal-free dairy protein production. NIZO is participating in the 4-year SAFERMENT project with other (inter)national research institutes and industrial partners. Wageningen Food Safety Research is coordinating the project.

Animal-free proteins are produced through precision fermentation technology, in which micro-organisms undergo targeted genetic enhancements to produce ingredients that were previously only sourced from animals. In this way, micro-organisms can play a role in the “protein transition”, a development that aims to increase the availability of animal-free proteins that have been produced in a safe and sustainable manner.

Food safety

Research in SAFERMENT focuses on the potential food safety aspects in the entire production chain of animal-free dairy proteins, from factory to end product and consumer. Researchers will examine the allergenic properties of dairy proteins produced by micro-organisms, and in the context of food fraud study the biochemical differences between these proteins and dairy proteins derived from animals. The project also aims to identify and mitigate potential food safety hazards that may arise in each step of the novel production processes. In addition, the project investigates consumer attitudes and acceptance of food products containing animal-free proteins produced using precision fermentation.

NIZO is one of the knowledge partners in this project, with a primary focus on risk assessments. We will also collaborate in executing certain aspects at our facilities. Our expertise in safety assessment of new products and processes, including precision fermentation, make us a right partner for this project. Moreover, our active involvement in research within the precision fermentation field further enhances our collective capabilities for the project’s success.

Become a partner

This Public Private Partnership (PPP) is funded by the Dutch Top Sector Agri & Food and is a collaboration between the research institutes Wageningen Food Safety Research, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen Plant Research, Wageningen University – Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group, NIZO Food Research, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), and the private companies Those Vegan Cowboys, TurtleTree Labs, Real Deal Milk, Fonterra and Abbott Laboratories.

The project consortium still has room for additional industrial partners. If you are interested to join, we invite you to contact us:

NIZO and our expertise in Food Safety & Chain Control

With over 70 years’ experience in the control of pathogens, spoilage microorganisms and food contaminants, you can rely on us to help protect your image and brand. We are also active in precompetitive consortia and advising standards bodies, developing new expertise and approaches for the wider industry. Drawing on this wide-ranging experience, we manage multidisciplinary food safety projects, interpreting the often complex results to provide real insight and hands-on solutions that ensure food safety by design.

You can call on our experts’ support throughout the entire food production chain: from raw materials and ingredients, through formulation and process development to the finished product. Key services include:

  • Independent expert advice to mitigate contaminant risks while meeting demands for new ingredients, and clean label, and longer shelf life
  • Microbial risk assessments throughout the chain to render ‘Safety by design’, using our predictive models to assess impact of processing, product and storage
  • Practical validation of microbial safety and shelf life using our process and product expertise
  • Minimize impact of heat resistant bacterial spore formers that survive processing
  • Supporting faster batch release by identifying microbes or their toxins in finished products
  • Supporting Root cause analysis/Track and trace by characterising relevant contaminants
  • Microbial method development/optimization to support fast and reliable product release
CTA Download article: Deliver safe and microbiologically stable food products by design