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Freegrass

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Precision Fermentation
« on: May 31, 2023, 10:10:59 PM »
In this video that Sigmetnow posted, I heard talk about "precision fermentation" (or industrial fermentation as it is called on Wikipedia) and I had no idea what that was. So I looked it up, and I am blown away. So much so that I believe it definitely deserves its own thread.

If there was ever a planet saving technology, this is way up there. I already knew about lab grown meat, but precision fermentation is so much more than that. And it is happening at a much faster pace than I could ever have imagined...

Before I started this new thread, I searched for precision fermentation on the forum, and there was only one mention of this technology in an article that also Sigmetnow posted on March 12 this year. I completely missed that debate. Maybe it's good if that discussion gets moved over here Kassy? Because this technology is going to be huge.

To start it off, here's an excellent video about precision fermentation from about 2 years ago. The Flexitarian Times has 5 videos on their channel, and they're all worth your time. I learned a lot from them. They are a good introduction to the technology.

The complete RethinkX report can be downloaded in PDF at the bottom.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2023, 10:51:35 AM by Freegrass »
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2023, 10:18:47 PM »
Brewing up a new business: AB InBev surprises with ambitions for animal-free proteins

https://biovox.eu/brewing-up-a-new-business-ab-inbev-surprises-with-ambitions-for-animal-free-proteins/

Belgian-American AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, has set up a separate R&D division called BioBrew to develop animal-free proteins using precision fermentation. Quite a number of companies are already focused on producing alternative proteins, which don’t cause harm to animals and are more sustainable, but they generally lack the capacity to produce them on a commercial level. This is one of the things that sets BioBrew apart, thanks to AB InBev’s knowhow of using yeast fermentation on a large scale to make beer.

For multiple reasons, interest in the production of non-animal proteins is on the rise. Among these incentives are the lower ecological impact, contrasted with the huge greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation associated with industrial livestock farming, and the fact that these production processes don’t cause harm to animals. With the rapid growth of the world population leading to a need for more efficient food systems, industry has been searching for a way to produce proteins as a commercial scale.

“There are many small biotech companies which are developing such alternative proteins, but almost all of them lack the expertise to scale up their processes,” said David De Schutter, the head of  AB InBev’s global innovation center Gitec, to Belgian newspaper De Standaard. “We however do possess this knowhow. As the world’s largest brewer, we know perfectly how to efficiently convert yeast in huge amounts of beer. In our brewery in Leuven, we have fermentation tanks of 400,000 liters.” The Gitec center, located across the AB InBev headquarters in Leuven, employs 122 scientists to develop new products and better brewing processes.

Programming yeasts to deliver proteins

Just as AB InBev uses yeasts to make beer, it now wants to put those single-celled microorganism to work to ‘brew’ proteins with the BioBrew project. “Yeasts are like small factories which can duplicate themselves quickly and convert substances into other ones,” explained De Schutter. Yeast cells are essential for making not only beer, but also for example wine, cheese, and bread. AB InBev itself possesses a collection of around 1,700 yeast strains, which are crucial for the flavors of its beers.

During a beer-brewing process, yeast is programmed to convert sugar into alcohol, but the BioBrew experts will program them in such a way that they deliver proteins instead. This kind of programming of microorganisms to create very specific products is called ‘precision fermentation’.

Once they are ready for their precise task, the yeast cells will be put in large fermentation vessels and fed with energy-rich sugar to jump-start the fermentation process. According to AB Inbev, one full BioBrew fermentation tank can contain food equivalent to 5,000 cows or 300,000 chickens. At the end of the process, the result can be purified until only protein powder is left, which can then be used as an ingredient by the food industry.

Plans for large production units

AB InBev started with the BioBrew project in 2019 and it quickly turned out to be a success. Part of this success is also due to collaborations with research centers in Belgium, such as the Flemish life sciences institute VIB, the spearhead cluster for the agri-food industry Flanders’ FOOD, and different Belgian universities.

The Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo recently paid a visit to Gitec to get to know BioBrew. He was impressed by AB InBev’s ventures in the domain of alternative proteins. “Belgium is not just a country of beers; our researchers are also leaders in biotech,” said De Croo. “It’s impressive to see how one of our Belgian brewers is combining those assets and thus getting ahead of the competition.”

Apart from the research taking place in Leuven, AB InBev has together with a partner also set up a first pilot plant for proteins in Germany. Later, the plan is to build separate, large production units. David De Schutter said to De Standaard that he couldn’t share much about the timing and location of these installations, only that there will probably be four of them, and that the units would also be open to smaller companies developing animal-free proteins.
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2023, 03:35:05 AM »
People are really scared that the entire dairy industry will collapse by 2030. Amazing... No more cow milk... Who would have thought?

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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2023, 04:32:22 AM »
I was wondering if it would ever be possible to create vegetable oils with PF, and so I went to chatgpt, and had this conversation with it. It seems like this may be possible in the future. And if that's true, we probably will be able to get rid of palm oil plantations too...

I know, I know... I'm going way too fast. But PF really is an amazing technology it seems. I can't believe we missed this... Still a lot to learn about it of course, but that's why we have this thread now. I can't wait for all your input. I really want to know how far they can push this technology...

User (me)
Can vegetable oil be made with Precision Fermentation?

ChatGPT
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, vegetable oil is typically produced through processes such as pressing or solvent extraction from oil-rich plants or seeds. Precision fermentation, on the other hand, is a technology that involves using genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to produce specific compounds through fermentation.

While precision fermentation has been used to produce a range of products, including proteins and flavors, it is not commonly used to produce vegetable oils. The production of vegetable oils involves extracting fats from plant sources, which is different from the fermentation process used in precision fermentation.

However, it's worth noting that the field of biotechnology is rapidly advancing, and new techniques and applications may have emerged since my last update. Therefore, it's always a good idea to consult the latest scientific literature or industry sources for the most up-to-date information on the use of precision fermentation in vegetable oil production.

User
is vegetable oil a protein?

ChatGPT
No, vegetable oil is not a protein. Vegetable oil is primarily composed of fats, specifically triglycerides, which are a type of lipid. Proteins, on the other hand, are complex macromolecules composed of amino acids and are involved in various biological functions, such as providing structure to cells, catalyzing biochemical reactions, and facilitating cellular communication.

Vegetable oils, including oils derived from plants such as soybean, canola, sunflower, and olive, contain predominantly fatty acids, which are a type of lipid. These fatty acids provide a concentrated source of energy and are essential for various physiological processes in the body. However, they do not contain proteins.

User
Precision Fermentation can make milk, and milk contains fat. So how do you make those fats with Precision Fermentation?

ChatGPT
Precision fermentation can indeed be used to produce milk proteins through the fermentation of genetically modified microorganisms. However, the production of milk fats through precision fermentation is a more complex process.

Milk fats are composed of various types of fatty acids, including saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. To produce these fats using precision fermentation, researchers would need to identify and modify microorganisms capable of synthesizing the desired fatty acids. This would involve introducing genes encoding the enzymes responsible for fatty acid synthesis into the microorganisms.

The modified microorganisms would then be cultured and provided with appropriate nutrients to support their growth and fatty acid production. The fermentation process would need to be carefully controlled to optimize the production of specific fatty acids and achieve the desired composition of milk fats.

While precision fermentation has shown promise in producing various compounds, including proteins, flavors, and other ingredients, the production of complex fats like those found in milk is still an ongoing area of research and development. It may take time before precision fermentation becomes a commercially viable method for producing milk fats at scale.

User
If they would be able to create those fatty acids, would the next step not be to create oils from them?

ChatGPT
Yes, if researchers are able to produce specific fatty acids using precision fermentation, the next step would be to convert those fatty acids into oils. Vegetable oils, such as soybean oil, canola oil, or sunflower oil, are primarily composed of triglycerides, which are esters formed from glycerol and fatty acids.

To create oils from the produced fatty acids, a process called esterification or transesterification would be employed. In this process, the fatty acids are combined with glycerol to form triglycerides. This can be done through chemical reactions or enzymatic processes.

Once the triglycerides are formed, they can be further processed, refined, and purified to obtain the desired vegetable oil product. This typically involves steps such as filtration, degumming, neutralization, bleaching, and deodorization.

It's important to note that while precision fermentation has the potential to produce specific fatty acids, the conversion of those fatty acids into oils would involve additional steps beyond the fermentation process. These subsequent processing steps would be necessary to obtain the final vegetable oil product.
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2023, 04:39:36 AM »
What are the dangers of Precision Fermentation?

ChatGPT
Precision fermentation, like any emerging technology, presents both opportunities and challenges. While it has the potential for various benefits, there are also potential risks and concerns associated with its use. Some of the dangers and considerations of precision fermentation include:

1. Environmental impact: Precision fermentation may involve the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and the release of such organisms into the environment could have unintended ecological consequences. It is crucial to assess and manage potential risks to ecosystems, biodiversity, and the spread of modified genes to wild populations.

2. Health and safety concerns: The safety of products derived from precision fermentation, such as novel proteins or ingredients, should be thoroughly evaluated to ensure they do not pose risks to human health, including allergies or toxicological effects. Proper regulatory oversight is essential to assess and manage potential risks to consumers.

3. Regulatory challenges: The development and commercialization of precision fermentation products may face regulatory hurdles, as different countries have varying regulations regarding GMOs and novel ingredients. Ensuring appropriate oversight, labeling, and safety assessments can be complex and require clear regulatory frameworks.

4. Ethical considerations: The use of precision fermentation may raise ethical concerns related to genetically modifying organisms and altering natural systems. Questions regarding the impact on traditional agriculture, farmer livelihoods, and the potential concentration of power in the hands of a few large corporations may arise.

5. Unintended consequences: Genetic modifications and engineering can have unpredictable effects, and unintended consequences may arise during precision fermentation processes. Thorough risk assessments and monitoring are necessary to identify and mitigate any unforeseen impacts.

It's important to note that these risks can be managed and mitigated through robust scientific research, responsible development, stringent regulatory oversight, and transparent communication. As the field progresses, it is essential to address the potential dangers while harnessing the benefits of precision fermentation.
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2023, 05:18:28 AM »
Be cautious of the techno fix

https://www.foodethicscouncil.org/opinion/be_cautious_of_techno_fix

Technologies – applied properly – have an important role to play in sustainable food systems. However, Patti Whaley, Trustee of the Food Ethics Council, argues we should be wary of hoping that techno fixes will make our existing ethical dilemmas go away. It’s more likely that they will solve some, create some new ones, and leave some unchanged.

At first glance, the recent RethinkX report on the future of food and agriculture might sound like good news. According to their predictions, replacing intensive livestock farming with precision fermentation of protein will largely do away with a host of food sector “issues”, including poor nutrition, high or unstable food prices, food-borne disease, high environmental footprint, biodiversity loss and poor animal welfare. I’m not about to give odds on whether their predictions will come true; after all, lab-based meat has been “just over the horizon” for some time now. But it’s worth giving some thought, with our Food Ethics hat on, to why technological solutions are so seductive, and whether the lure of an easy technological fix hides some deeper ethical issues.

Some background: RethinkX is an independent thinktank that analyses and forecasts the speed and scale of technology-driven disruption and its implications across society. They have produced two reports so far – one on disruption in the transportation sector, and this latest one on the food sector. Both reports predict widespread technologically-driven disruption within the next ten years. These disruptions will cause an initial loss of jobs and economic value, but will, according to RethinkX, radically reduce both the economic and the environmental cost of food and transport. If managed properly, they say, the food sector disruption will also decentralise and redistribute power within the food sector, shifting us away from a system dominated by large corporate players, capital-intensive production, and haggling over intellectual property (‘IP’) and trade agreements. I’m not here to endorse or condemn the RethinkX report – but I am interested in the questions it raises about our approach to problems in the food system.

RethinkX’s argument is presented in a largely objective, non-judgemental way, although there is clearly an underlying view that the predicted benefits of this disruption ought to be widely distributed for the public good, rather than closely protected for corporate profit. In particular, they highlight the importance of how intellectual property will be licensed: we should “Allow companies to patent production methods but not life, genes, or molecules – IP regimes should be process-focused rather than output-focused.” They also argue that the forces of decentralisation and competition will tend to minimise barriers and maximise broad public benefit.

On the surface – so far, so good. And it’s not surprising, given the challenges of world hunger and environmental degradation, that a technological path out of our current situation looks so attractive. But if we think more deeply, there are important questions here about wellbeing, power, winners and losers, what choices we make, and why we keep hoping that technology will save us from ourselves. To list just a few of these:

Would an abundance of cheap protein improve our wellbeing?
For most of us, no. Most people on Western-based diets do not need more protein in their diets – we already eat too much, when we should be eating more vegetables and whole grains. For too long now, we have equated a high-protein diet with affluence; in developing countries such as China, a rise in the standard of living has led to greater consumption of meat, in spite of evidence that a Mediterranean or largely plant-based diet can be better for us. Fresh fruit and vegetables already look relatively expensive, particularly when compared to highly-processed sugars, fats and carbohydrates; a big drop in the relative cost of protein might make fruits, vegetables and whole grains look even less affordable. Although there are undoubtedly poor areas of the world where additional protein would improve overall diets, for most of us, a ready supply of cheap protein could result in a less diverse and healthy diet.

Would a different technology lead us to a more decentralised, open-source, public-benefit food system?
Not necessarily. Food production certainly used to be a highly-decentralised and localised activity where seeds, breeds and farming know-how were shared more openly. But the forces of corporate capitalism seem to have pushed us towards ever greater concentration of power, and companies have been adept at protecting their interests through intellectual property law and international trade agreements. Countries such as the United States have used their trade-negotiating power to dump their excess grain reserves on poorer countries, for example, undercutting local markets and driving local food producers into bankruptcy. A production technology that requires less capital may partially offset this trend, but it’s unlikely to slow it down for long. I’d agree with RethinkX that an IP regime that protected processes, but not specific proteins, would be preferable; but achieving such a regime would run counter to the IP trends of the last several decades.

Do we need a new technology to solve the environmental problems of our food system?
Not necessarily. Much of the high environmental cost of our food system could be eliminated without any new technology at all. The benefits proposed by RethinkX – a rebuilding of fish stocks, less use of antibiotics and growth hormones, lower rates of food-based illness, a drop in our use of petrol-based products, a reduction in animal suffering – could all be ours now, if we were willing to shift towards more plant-based diets and eat “less but better” meat.

Perhaps most importantly: Do we need a new technology to feed the world’s billions?
No. Technology can certainly help, but we could feed everyone now if we wanted to — perhaps not a Western high-protein diet, but a perfectly adequate and reasonably varied one, and arguably a healthier one. The problem of world hunger, or even UK hunger, is not a problem of production; it’s a problem of poor distribution, and the prioritising of private profit over public goods.

The reason that laboratory protein looks so appealing is that it promises that we can continue to eat in the ways we are accustomed to, without the associated costs. By disassociating protein production from livestock farming, we can “have our [burger] and eat it too”. That promise may or may not come true, but it would still leave us with some important choices to make. As societies, we would still need to choose to share the benefits of technological innovation with our poorer neighbours, rather than using them to retain the economic upper hand; and to use the resources freed up by disruption for public good rather than private profit. We would still need to choose to treat our food producers and food servers fairly and with dignity. As individuals, we would still need to choose varied and healthy diets, not just cheap ones. And for those of us who love to cook and eat good food, and who are fortunate enough to be able to do so, we could still choose to treat food as a source of creativity, comfort and joy, rather than a cheap and convenient commodity.

The problem with future technology promises is that they can tempt us to put off urgent reforms to our food system. Maybe, just maybe, some silver bullet will come along that will resolve our dilemmas for us, but relying on that hope would be a mistake. We can make better choices right away.

Guest blog from Patti Whaley, Trustee of the Food Ethics Council



What Consumers Should Ask About Precision Fermentation

https://www.forbes.com/sites/errolschweizer/2022/03/02/what-should-consumers-be-asking-about-precision-fermentation/

Even Forbes has a lot of questions it seems. It's a long article, and I need to get some sleep now. So I'm going to finish reading this tomorrow. But it started good, and has a lot of links in it.

Enjoy!
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kassy

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2023, 09:25:49 AM »
Quote
Would an abundance of cheap protein improve our wellbeing?
For most of us, no. Most people on Western-based diets do not need more protein in their diets – we already eat too much, when we should be eating more vegetables and whole grains.

There are huge gains to be made if we would eat the recommended amount of red meat instead of the current intake. This is quite a strong effect which even reduces some forms of river pollution because excess protein gets execrated.

Anyway lots happening on the PF front so we shall collect that here.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2023, 03:37:04 PM »
Here’s Tony Seba’s discussion:
 
The Great Transformation [Part 4] - The #Disruption of #Food & #Agriculture
Nov 15, 2022.  17 min.
➡️
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2023, 06:51:15 PM »
Here’s Tony Seba’s discussion:

The Great Transformation [Part 4] - The #Disruption of #Food & #Agriculture
Nov 15, 2022.  17 min.
Thanks for that link, Sigmetnow. Did you already post the transportation video on the EV thread? Definitely worth it! I'm on part 3 now, Energy. This is a truly amazing guy, and he makes perfect sense... The next ten years are going to be truly exciting, and game changing.

I recommend everyone to watch his 5 videos! They will change your life... Suddenly, I'm not so pessimistic anymore. As long as we can take out some CO2 again, the future is looking a lot better now... 2030!
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2023, 07:15:16 PM »
There is a Tony Seba thread, although it has not been active since last fall.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2073.msg352419.html#msg352419
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2023, 10:02:22 PM »
There is a Tony Seba thread, although it has not been active since last fall.

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,2073.msg352419.html#msg352419
Ah, ok. Thanks! One more thread I missed... I'll check out the comments there. He's my new favorite guy on the planet right now... Hope he has a chat with Michael Liebreich soon, but it looks like they're not best friends...

https://twitter.com/MLiebreich/status/1129845889303027713?s=20
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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2023, 11:47:06 AM »
A great new documentary on (dairy) farming in New Zealand, and a very good argument why we need precision fermentation ASAP.

Not sure how long it'll be online for free, so hurry up watching it.
(ignore the preview. Just click the "learn more" button to open the video)

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2023, 12:04:20 PM »
Disrupting dairy with precision fermentation: ‘By 2035, industrial cattle farming will be obsolete’
03-Feb-2020 By Flora Southey

The imminent collapse of dairy and cattle industries has been forecast by think tank RethinkX, with precision fermentation protein set to ‘outperform the cow’.

Read the whole article here...
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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2024, 01:57:32 AM »
EU to invest €50m in supporting precision fermentation start-ups

https://www.foodbev.com/news/eu-to-invest-e50m-in-supporting-precision-fermentation-start-ups/

The EU has announced that it will invest €50 million in 2024 to help start-ups scale up the production of alternative proteins using technologies such as precision fermentation.

The investment will be made as part of the European Innovation Council (EIC)’s Work Programme 2024, under the EU’s flagship Horizon Europe programme.

It aims to “improve the sustainability, efficiency and resilience of the European supply chain” through providing support to small businesses in the alternative protein space.

Precision fermentation is a method of fermentation whereby microorganisms, such as yeast, can be used to produce real animal proteins – such as whey and casein – without the use of animals.

These proteins are often responsible for delivering the taste and texture of foods like cheese, meat and eggs, helping companies to create animal-free alternatives that are able to mimic the familiar qualities of their traditional counterparts.

Meat, eggs, dairy and seafood made using precision fermentation can significantly reduce carbon emissions and are also free from antibiotics.

Companies in Europe using precision fermentation to develop animal-free proteins include Paleo, a Belgium-based company developing animal-free, species-specific myoglobin proteins for meat alternative applications. Paleo has this week announced that it is expanding into the plant-based pet food market. Elsewhere, Onego Bio, based in Finland, is using the technology to create animal-free egg proteins and was shortlisted in FoodBev Media’s inaugural World Cell-based Innovation Awards this year.

The funding, under the EIC’s Accelerator Challenge, aims to support the development of “viable alternatives that complement agriculture,” producing foods that are rich in protein and other nutrients.

The work programme highlights that these foods can be produced using existing agricultural sidestreams, with benefits including reduced pressure on natural resources such as land and water.

Acacia Smith, senior policy manager at non-profit think tank the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “It’s excellent that the EIC has recognised precision fermentation’s game-changing potential to feed Europe’s growing population, improve public health and reduce our reliance on imports”.

She added: “It’s also very welcome that this funding aims to develop new ways of scaling up production – tackling Europe’s lack of infrastructure – and to look at other critical areas such as consumer acceptance, regulatory approval and supporting the entry of these foods into the European market.”
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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2024, 03:13:16 AM »
Quote
Tony Seba
I like @ooblifoods’ chocolate made with PrecisionFermentation (PF) #SweetProtein. 🍫
10/24/23, https://x.com/tonyseba/status/1716967990158303740

The company makes Flavored Sweet Teas and Chocolate Bars with reduced sugar and none of the usual alternative sweeteners.

Oobli Unveils World's First-Ever Low-Sugar Milk Chocolate Bars
Quote
By adding a tiny amount of sweet protein for sweetness – instead of sugar or alternative sweeteners – Oobli Milk Chocolates contain 70% less sugar than traditional milk chocolate bars and only 1g of added sugar per serving. Sweet proteins are like any other type of dietary protein, except they happen to taste sweet. Derived from small, rare fruits that grow near the Equator, sweet proteins don't affect blood sugar, insulin or the gut microbiome, making them a healthy alternative to alternative sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, Stevia and erythritol. …
http://lifestyle.xtra1063.com/story/50267717/oobli-unveils-worlds-first-ever-low-sugar-milk-chocolate-bars-made-without-artificial-sweeteners

Quote
On average, Americans overconsumption of sugar has resulted in over-farming sugar cane, landing it on the top 10 worst global crops.
That means a 1% reduction of sugar production could result in 650,000 acres of land saved.🌳
#SweetProteins, good for you & the planet. 🌎
1/10/24, https://x.com/ooblifoods/status/1745174136614523004

Quote
Oobli
Thrilled to be partnering w/ SpaceX's corporate cafeterias at their Southern California facilities. #SpaceX employees work on projects w/the potential to impact our lives on Earth & beyond, & we couldn’t be happier to provide our #revolutionary #Oobli #SweetIcedTeas to keep them going.🚀 
1/17/24, https://x.com/ooblifoods/status/1747669186925514946
 
 pic.twitter.com/Az3JZo3JZi Peach iced tea in a can, in front of the Falcon 9 rocket on display at Hawthorne.

https://oobli.com/


+++++++
 
Quote
Tony Seba
In 2019, @rethink_x  forecast cost parity for #PrecisionFermentation proteins by 2025 in “#RethinkingFood & Agriculture”, which I co-authored with @CatherineTubb.
 
Now, @imagindairy’s CEO Eyal Afergan has told Green Queen that their dairy prototype formulation is already at price parity with traditional #dairy products — TODAY. 🥛🌱
1/18/24, https://x.com/tonyseba/status/1748151329090863195

 
Imagindairy Unveils Industrial-Scale Facility to Produce Animal-Free Dairy Proteins at Price Parity
 Jan 17, 2024
Quote
Two weeks after becoming just the third precision fermentation dairy company to receive a ‘no questions’ approval letter from the FDA, Israeli startup Imagindairy has announced the acquisition of an industrial-scale plant in the Middle East that will allow it to manufacture cost-competitive animal-free dairy products.

The company claims to be the first in the industry to fully own and operate such large-scale production lines, which gives it a 100,000-litre fermentation capacity. Imagindairy plans to triple this volume in the next one to two years and says it is already producing industrial-sized batches at price parity to conventional dairy.

Founded in 2020, uses precision fermentation technology to produce dairy proteins, without the cow. It is starting with beta-lactoglobulin, the main whey protein found in bovine milk (accounting for 65% of the total whey content). This is the ingredient for which it received regulatory approval from the FDA in the form of its ‘no questions’ letter two weeks ago, following its self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status in August.

Imagindairy’s beta-lactoglobulin is produced via an AI-led microflora-based production method “inspired by nature”, which feeds microorganisms that are 20 times more efficient than cows at converting feed into proteins. The startup employs a microbe called Aspergillus oryzae, the same fungi strain used by German precision fermentation player Formo for its egg alternative. More commonly called koji mould, it’s known as Japan’s “national fungus” and is used in many traditional fermented foods like miso, mirin, shoyu, as well as alcoholic beverages such as shochu and soju.

The Israeli startup is working on other proteins too, including casein (which makes up 80% of the protein content found in dairy) and other whey proteins like alpha-lactalbumin (accounting for about 25% of bovine whey content).

While Imagindairy hasn’t publicly announced any partnerships, Afergan confirmed the startup is currently collaborating with partners on commercial projects. With the new facility, it can help its customers to offer animal-free dairy products at costs on par with their conventional counterparts. “It’s a substantial breakthrough and important step that will allow us to support mass-market adoption, transition to an industrial company, and speed up the development of other milk proteins,” said Afergan.

“Cost parity has always been a main target for Imagindairy, due to the understanding that mass market adoption will not happen without it,” he told Green Queen. “Our dairy prototype formulations, based on our protein, are at parity with traditional dairy products or even at lower prices.” Research funded by Formo last year suggests that at price parity, precision-fermented dairy will capture a third of the overall dairy market. Even with a 25% price premium, it would account for a 22% slice of the pie.

This is crucial considering the impact of the dairy industry on the environment. According to Perfect Day’s life-cycle assessment, its beta-lactoglobulin has 91-97% lower GHG emissions, 29-60% lower energy demands, and 96-99% of water consumption than conventional whey protein. Similarly, an LCA by French player Bon Vivant – also focused on beta-lactoglobulin – showed that milk made from its precision-fermented whey emits 96% less carbon, uses 99% less water, and requires 92% less land.
https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/imagindairy-facility-precision-fermentation-dairy-price-parity/

I recently looked at the ingredients of several popular protein drinks. They were all mostly milk protein, so the market for such PF products could be huge.

See also:  https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3209.msg387600.html#msg387600
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2024, 08:37:37 PM »
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Tony Seba

#PrecisionFermentation proteins are chemically 💯 the same as cow #proteins.

This is the second domestication of plants and animals. Instead of #microbes producing a given protein through the rumen of the cow, microbes can produce the exact same protein in a fermentation tank. Think beer. 🍻

#PF proteins can be 10x-20x more resource efficient than the cow. 🐄

That’s the #GreatTransformation. 🌍
1/19/24, https://x.com/tonyseba/status/1748426849871659395

⬇️ Click to enhance.
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Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2024, 02:39:27 PM »
I was wondering if it would ever be possible to create vegetable oils with PF, and so I went to chatgpt, and had this conversation with it. It seems like this may be possible in the future. And if that's true, we probably will be able to get rid of palm oil plantations too...

...snip
Great posts Sigmetnow. Thanks for that! Things are really starting to move forward now. And it looks like the question that I was wondering about last year got answered... Yes, it is possible to make vegetable oils (palm oil) with PF. That's another game changer. No more palm oil plantations needed... Wouldn't that be great? You can run an old diesel engine on vegetable oil. PF fuels.


‘Precision fermentation’ start-ups pursue palm oil alternatives

Lab-based producers think they can make $70bn industry more sustainable — if regulators will let them

https://www.ft.com/content/cfe2070f-c8f2-4145-9944-b72d6c7fa8ae

Palm oil’s winning properties — being cheap, versatile and free of unhealthy trans fats — have the food industry hooked. It can be found in everything from peanut butter to pizza. But the environmental cost is high. Across south-east Asia, rainforests are being felled to make way for palm oil plantations, with dire consequences both for biodiversity and for efforts to curb carbon emissions.

So, as demand for palm oil rises, the race is on to find more sustainable replacements. Scientists believe they can replicate the properties that make palm oil so widely used, without the need for plantations — though whether they can do so affordably remains to be seen.

“We cannot continue to burn down rainforests and we have limited land,” says Shara Ticku, chief executive of C16 Biosciences, a US-based start-up working on palm oil alternatives. “We have to innovate radically new infrastructures for producing nutritious, sustainable food.”

Like a handful of other start-ups, C16 Biosciences is using a process called “precision fermentation” to produce palm oil. This involves growing yeast in fermentation tanks, similar to the way beer is brewed, though with the difference that C16’s yeast strains produce oil, not alcohol.

The yeast is fed on sugars and other nutrients under carefully controlled conditions. “The yeast spends four or five days getting really big and fat,” says Ticku. “Then, we take one day to extract the oil.” She says the resulting oil has the same qualities that make palm oil so desirable — notably, that it is a solid at room temperature and a liquid at body temperature.


However, its production is untainted by deforestation and avoids the other environmental downsides of conventional palm oil, such as the methane — a potent greenhouse gas — emitted by the effluent from processing plants. And, unlike legacy producers, precision fermentation start-ups can “design in” green energy usage from the start.

Such advantages may erode as conventional producers strive to embrace more sustainable practices. But the investors backing C16 and its peers see a lucrative opportunity.

“Palm oil is a $70bn industry today, but demand continues to grow rapidly — it is projected to be a $100bn industry by 2030,” says Sila Kiliccote, an investor from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, a venture capital fund started by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates that has invested in C16 Biosciences.

Despite all the potential benefits, however, no precision fermentation-produced palm oil product has so far been approved for human consumption. While companies wait for the green light, many are focusing on supplying the cosmetics and personal care industry, which uses palm oil for products such as lipstick and toothpaste.

Even if regulatory approval is granted, the precision fermentation start-ups face an additional hurdle: reaching price parity with palm oil from plantations.

“Ever since palm became this wonder oil, and we realised we could get it into anything, we have been driving the price down,” points out Chris Chuck, a professor of bioprocess engineering at the University of Bath in the UK and co-founder of palm oil alternative start-up the Clean Food Group.

“To compete with that price is really, really challenging. You have to be at parity with other oils because consumers do not want to see the price of their food basket go through the roof for a sustainable alternative,” he says.

The main cost for lab-grown palm oil is the sugars needed to feed the yeast. Chuck’s company is working on using waste streams from the bakery industry as a feedstock, such as breadcrumbs, flour or discarded crusts. To scale up, though, start-ups would need to tap other streams. Chuck is also working on using agricultural waste, such as grass.

Scaling up production should, in principle, help drive down costs — though there are problems to tackle there, too. At laboratory scale, it is easy to keep the fermentation process sterile, but, as companies move to 1,000-litre fermenters, the risk of bacterial contamination increases. Companies will need to find ways to maintain the health of their yeast and the purity of their product as an industry emerges.

If the start-ups can secure regulatory approval and scale up to a price point similar to plantation-derived palm oil, then the benefits to the food industry could be numerous, says Tom Kelleher, chief executive of US-based Xylome, another palm oil start-up.

The lab-grown alternatives are healthier than plantation-derived palm oil, Kelleher says, because they don’t contain harmful bleaching agents — and can be modified to contain less saturated fat than plantation-derived options.

Lab-grown palm oil could also help bring price stability to the food industry, he says. Although plantation-derived palm oil is a relatively cheap commodity, its price fluctuates significantly, depending on currency movements and export tariffs. Producing it in fermenters means diversifying production capacity, thereby potentially stabilising the price.

But the biggest win — if companies can pull it off — will be in preventing further destruction of rainforests and boosting food security for a growing population.

“There’s going to be about 10bn people on the planet by 2050,” says Chuck. “We have to guarantee consumer goods and calorific food for all of those people. These fermentation technologies are about curbing growth in the agricultural sector and preventing the need for future agricultural land, so we can use it for reforestation or to grow other crops.”



When factual science is in conflict with our beliefs or traditions, we cuddle up in our own delusional fantasy where everything starts making sense again.

Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2024, 02:51:54 PM »
PALM-ALT: Could This Palm Oil Alternative Be the ‘Holy Grail’ of Sustainable Baking Fats?

https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/palm-alt-could-this-palm-oil-alternative-be-the-holy-grail-of-sustainable-baking-fats/

A new sustainable fat by Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University (QMU) is the latest to join the fledgling palm oil alternative sector. Using food industry sidestream ingredients, PALM-ALT is said to be 70% better for the environment (emissions-wise) and contains 88% less saturated fat. The researchers claim this is the “holy grail” of eco-friendly palm oil substitutes.

Experts at the Scottish university say their palm oil alternative uses a byproduct from the linseed (aka flaxseed) industry, combining it with natural fibre and rapeseed oil (aka canola oil) to produce a fully plant-based fat that resembles the texture of mayonnaise.

Catriona Liddle, one of the lead developers, told the BBC: “It’s the holy grail to replace [palm oil] and still have exactly the same end result in product – to taste the same and have the texture the same – and we’ve done that.”

PALM-ALT – which contains 25% less fat overall, 88% less saturated fat, and 30% fewer calories – can be produced on a global scale locally and is cost-competitive, according to QMU. It is also free from added flavourings, sugar, sweeteners, preservatives or colourings.

“We’ve put it through some special sensory testing to see if a panel can tell the difference between our product and traditional palm shortening, and they can’t,” Liddle told the BBC.

The problem with palm oil

Palm oil is the most widely produced oil in the world – accounting for 40% of all oil production. It works as a natural preservative, has no taste, smell or colour, and can withstand high temperatures, making it a favourite for food and beauty companies around the world. In fact, it’s present in half of all supermarket items, across every category.

But palm oil is a major driver of tropical deforestation – 90% of the world’s palm oil trees are located in the rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia. In August 2019, Indonesian forests were engulfed by wildfires caused directly by palm plantation trees. As per one estimate, tropical deforestation is responsible for nearly 20% of all greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Rainforests are cleared and various species are killed to make way for these plantations. Palm oil production has increased tenfold since 1980, and is set to increase by another 50% by 2050. The high demand means more forests are burnt down, a form of mass deforestation that emits greenhouse gases, while removing trees that would help absorb these very emissions.

Moreover, palm oil cultivation is a threat to wildlife including orangutans – 50% of whom are found outside national parks due to deforestation – and rhinos. Moreover, the industry is linked with human rights abuses, with Indigenous communities losing their lands and villages, and workers exploited with poor working conditions and pay.

“It is therefore essential to develop an alternative product, which works well for the food industry and helps reduce the world’s overreliance on palm,” said Liddle. PALM-ALT has the potential to replace palm oil in baking products, where it is largely used for its ability to remain solid at room temperature (owing to a high amount of saturated fat). “Palm-based fat works particularly well in bakery products due to its composition, taste and mouthfeel. For example, it helps produce cakes which are light, with a good taste profile which has a pleasant mouthfeel.”

Dr Julien Lonchamp, who led the research alongside Liddle, added: “Our team has patented the PALM-ALT composition and process and we are currently in discussions with a number of partners to implement the novel palm replacer at the industry level.”

A growing list of palm oil alternatives

QMU’s palm oil alternative joins a fast-growing lineup of companies hoping to produce a like-for-like substitute for the problematic fat. Last month, fellow British firm Clean Food Group raised £2.3M to accelerate the commercialisation of its fermentation-based palm oil replacement.

New York-based climate tech startup C16 Biosciences, meanwhile, has created a Palmless Torula oil, using microbes grown in bioreactors. The bioidentical palm oil alternative has been used in a soap bar by British material science firm Pangaia and skincare label Haeckels. Across the coast, Bay Area firm Kiverdi is making a sustainable substitute to palm oil using captured carbon, and Zero Acre makes a Cultured Oil rainforest-fed sugarcane as a replacement for conventional vegetable oil. Meanwhile, Wisconsin-based Xylome makes a yeast-derived Yoil.

Also in the US, Unilever injected $120M into San Diego’s Genomatica last year, whose palm oil replacement is suited for personal, home and cleaning products as of now. Ohio-based Locus Ingredients’ palm alternative is similar, using fermentation to replace palm-based ingredients and chemical surfactants.

In Europe, Estonian startup Äio raised €1M in February to scale up production of its alternative, which (like ALT-PALM) uses byproducts from agricultural sidestreams. Dutch company NoPalm Ingredients similarly makes use of waste feedstocks like discarded produce and peelings to make its microbial-fermented palm oil substitute. Fellow Dutch startup Time-Travelling Milkman uses sunflower seeds to make a fat alternative that can replace palm oil in various applications.

In Germany, meanwhile, Colipi is a biotech firm using precision fermentation to turn yeast into ‘Carbon Oil’ by using organic sidestreams as feed. And alt-chocolate producer ChoViva revealed to Green Queen earlier this month that it is working on cocoa butter and palm oil alternatives.

In Singapore, scientists at the Nanyang Technical University are working on replacing palm oil with a microalgae fat, which is said to have better health and eco credentials The new oil is claimed to offer health and sustainability benefits, including lowering cholesterol and being made from regenerative algae varieties.

Despite this list, Liddle is confident that its ALT-PALM oil is unlike any other alternative. “Despite efforts to develop more sustainable cultivation practices, the industry has found it difficult to identify another fat which delivers the cost benefits and physical characteristics (bland taste, food shelf-life and ambient storage) that palm offers, and which is not linked with health concerns,” she argued. “Currently, there is no palm oil replacement that is sustainable, healthy and cost-effective.”
When factual science is in conflict with our beliefs or traditions, we cuddle up in our own delusional fantasy where everything starts making sense again.

Freegrass

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2024, 01:24:48 PM »
Precision Fermentation: Industry Stakeholders Release Refined Definition as Alt-Protein Sector Heats Up

https://www.greenqueen.com.hk/precision-fermentation-alliance-food-fermentation-europe-definition/

The Precision Fermentation Alliance (PFA) and Food Fermentation Europe (FFE) have together announced a refined definition of precision fermentation to provide clarity and distinction from other food technologies, in the face of rapid advancements in the sector.

While it has been in use for over 30 years – in insulin, rennet for cheese, and vitamin supplements – most people only first heard of precision fermentation in recent years for its use in alternative protein applications.

But more and more technologies are flooding the future food industry, while the precision fermentation sector itself has witnessed a chunk of advancements lately. This is why it has become so important to better understand what the technology is all about.

That’s the basis of the work done by industry bodies the Precision Fermentation Alliance (PFA) and Food Fermentation Europe (FFE). Both organisations were founded early last year, with the aim of serving as an industry voice to advance regulatory compliance, unlock public and private investments and partnerships, and educate consumers about the tech.

To help clarify what it entails and clearly differentiate it from its alternative protein counterparts, the two bodies have now announced a refined and expanded definition of the technology.

Precision fermentation combines the process of traditional fermentation with the latest advances in biotechnology to efficiently produce a compound of interest, such as a protein, flavour molecule, vitamin, pigment, or fat.

How does it work?
  • A specific molecular sequence is inserted into a microorganism to give it instructions to produce the desired molecule when fermented. These molecular sequences are derived from digitized databases rather than taken directly from the relevant animals or plants.
  • At the end of the fermentation process, the resulting compounds are filtered out, separating them from the microorganisms that produced them.
  • Precision fermentation has been in use globally for over 30 years to make medicines (like insulin) and countless common food ingredients (such as human milk oligosaccharides or rennet).”
“As more companies are commercialising new food production technologies and ingredients, we found that there was a need to further refine the definition of precision fermentation to help educate the food ecosystem about the differences between similar technologies and resulting products,” Irina Gerry, vice-chair of the board of directors at PFA and chief marketing officer of precision fermentation company Change Foods, tells Green Queen.

How precision fermentation is different from other food technologies

The PFA and FFE clarify that precision fermentation stands apart from traditional or wild fermentation and natural breeding techniques by leveraging the latest bioengineering techniques. “We wanted to draw a distinction between natural or traditional fermentation that we use to make beer, yoghurt or kombucha, and precision fermentation, which is leveraging the latest advances in biotechnology,” explains Gerry. “By using biotechnology, we are able to program microorganisms to produce specific molecules that they would not make otherwise.”

The molecular sequence in precision fermentation is derived from digitalised databases instead of animals or plants, and the targeted molecules are isolated and filtered out from the fermentation. This is in contrast to biomass fermentation, where the entire biomass (including the cells) is the product.

“Since the first DNA sequence was performed in the 1970s, scientists have sequenced many plant and animal species. These sequences are now catalogued in digitised databases globally, and many are accessible online,” says Gerry. “For example, one can copy the DNA sequence of whey protein, such as beta-lactoglobulin or lactoferrin, transfer it into a microorganism, using bioengineering techniques, and create a unique milk-protein-producing strain.

“These microorganisms will produce the desired whey protein during fermentation, which can be later filtered out, creating a whey protein isolate that is equivalent to whey protein that comes from cow’s milk, but without any direct involvement of the animals. This technique is a defining feature of precision fermentation.”

This is also a key aspect that separates precision fermentation from cell cultivation. Sourcing molecular sequences from digitalised databases eschews the need for animal involvement in any stage of the process, which is different from cultivated meat, where a small sample of cells is taken from a live animal. And unlike cell cultivation, precision fermentation focuses on using microorganisms to produce specific compounds of interest, rather than growing an entire cell or biomass.

This is evidenced by what leading precision fermentation companies are doing – using microbes like fungi, algae and bacteria to produce specific proteins, fats, vitamins, and flavouring and colouring agents, which can be combined with other ingredients to make end products. Cultivated meat companies are, instead, creating the end product, such as chicken and beef.

“Ingredients made via precision fermentation would be required to go through the standard regulatory approval process,” confirms Gerry.

Progress for precision fermentation outlines need for education and scale-up

“We are excited to contribute to the understanding of precision fermentation and its role in advancing food innovation,” notes FFE president Jevan Nagarajah.

Nagarajah is the founder and CEO of Better Dairy, a member of FFE, alongside Formo, Imagindairy, Onego Bio, Those Vegan Cowboys, Bon Vivant, and Standing Ovation. The PFA, meanwhile, counts Change Foods, Perfect Day, The EVERY Co, Helaina, Imagindairy, Remilk, Motif FoodWorks, New Culture and Onego Bio as its members.

Many of them have made strides in recent weeks. Just last week, Perfect Day announced its partnership with Unilever, with its precision-fermented whey protein forming the base for a new lactose-free chocolate ice cream by Breyers. This came two weeks after fellow CPG giant Nestlé launched the Better Whey protein powder under the Orgain brand, made from precision fermentation as well.

This year has proven to be a significant one for regulation too. New Culture became the first company to attain self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status for animal-free casein earlier this month, a week before Vivici obtained the certification for its whey protein. That came a month after Imagindairy received a ‘no further questions’ letter for its precision-fermented whey from the FDA. In 2023, Remilk (also producing whey) joined Perfect Day on that FDA GRAS list, alongside The EVERY Co, which earned its third GRAS notification late in the year for egg proteins.

Aside from these launches and regulatory breakthroughs, investors have had an eye on this space too. Perfect Day itself is closing a $90M Series A funding round (announced last month), but other companies have secured smaller capital injections recently too, including casein producer Standing Ovation (€3M) and bioactive protein maker Triplebar ($20M). And, this May, the EU will open applications for investments totalling €50M in precision fermentation and algae-based food startups as part of its Horizon Europe scheme.

Moreover, there have been some manufacturing and scale-up milestones. Imagindairy unveiled an industrial-scale facility with a 10,000-litre fermentation capacity, Daisy Lab ramped up production for its beta-lactoglobulin whey powder and diversified into lactoferrin protein, Yali Bio created what it claimed was the world’s first yeast-derived breast milk fat from precision fermentation, and Bond Pet Foods reached a scaling milestone alongside Hill’s Pet Nutrition to develop pet food products – all in the space of a month.

All this underlines the progress made by the precision fermentation space, as well as the need for further education. “One of the reasons we created PFA is to help educate consumers about precision fermentation, its benefits and the types of ingredients that can be made. Precision fermentation has a long and safe history of use in food. It is the same technology that is used to make insulin, vitamins and natural flavours today,” says Gerry.

“Scaling [up] manufacturing and reducing costs of production is critical for these ingredients to be able to effectively compete with animal-derived ingredients,” she adds. “The industry is addressing it in multiple ways. We see new types of private and public funding, university training programs, industry partnerships, and contract manufacturing companies getting established to support these efforts. It won’t happen overnight, but the process is underway.”
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Precision Fermentation
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2024, 06:48:55 PM »
“Better Whey”  ✅ 😄
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