Dutch plant-based ingredients pioneer Fooditive will begin large-scale production trials of the world’s first 100 % “bee-free” honey in the New Year. By mass-producing a bio-identical honey that eliminates the need to intensively farm honeybees, the company aims to create a scalable, provenanced supply. As well as providing all the benefits of traditional honey, this will address consumer concerns about animal welfare and sustainability.
Leveraging the same patented biotech process already used to create Fooditive’s innovative vegan casein, which was launched last year, honey DNA is copied into a proprietary strain of yeast. When fed with nutrients and precision-fermented to replicate the metabolic processes that occur in the honeybee stomach, this yields a product with the same characteristics and functionality of bee-produced honey – from taste, colour and viscosity to its health benefits.
The production trials will recreate the lab-proven concept in 1,000-litre fermenters, with samples to be made available for potential customers to try and test out in their own applications.