Precision Fermentation

What is Precision Fermentation and could we implement it?

Precision fermentation is where microbes are used to produce particular chemicals. Insulin and rennet are common cited products of precision fermentation.

Precision fermentation can be used to produce pretty much any chemical. Ingredients that are currently being produced using precision fermentation include:


Real Vegan Cheese are a non-profit research project using precision fermentation to produce casein - the main protein in milk, cheese, yoghurt and similar dairy products.

The separation processes required to extract the end products of precision fermentation will likely make it a more complex process than biomass fermentation. As such we anticipate that the proteins will be more expensive to make and somewhat harder to democratise.

Precision fermentation also generally involves genetic engineering. We anticipate that corporations who invest in the development of custom strains for precision fermentation may be less inclined to open source them, so we very much welcome the Open Science work of Real Vegan Cheese.


Rennet was traditionally obtained from the stomach linings of calves and lambs. A very high proportion of rennet used in cheese making is now produced via commercial precision fermentation.