Anglesey-based social enterprise Menter Môn has partnered with Lafan Consulting Group to launch FerMôntation, a project aimed at producing sustainable food through precision fermentation using hydrogen.
Funded by the Welsh Government, FerMôntation is the first project in Wales to look at hydrogen to produce protein, assessing the viability of this technology and its potential impact on the Welsh economy.
Precision fermentation is a form of brewing that multiplies microbes to create specific products, and it is considered a part of the Agri-Tech sector. In this project, hydrogen will be used as fuel to develop a variety of food products such as alternative proteins and animal feed. The use of hydrogen could lead to sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly food production methods, reducing the footprint of food production and potentially reducing the extreme dependency of many nations on food shipped from distant places.
The project is part of the Welsh Government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 and create employment opportunities in green and sustainable sectors, in line with the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015). Gethin While, Head of Smart Living at the Welsh Government, stated that the development of this project is hoped to increase the economic prospects of Wales and improve environmental well-being through the transition into a greener economy.
David Wylie, Senior Project Officer at Menter Môn, expressed pride in being the first group in Wales to use this technology, with the project demonstrating the value of delivering across sectors due to the range of projects managed by Menter Môn. Dr Irfan Rais, Research Consultant at Lafan Consulting Group, called the project exciting, highlighting the potential of precision fermentation to shrink the food production footprint and develop healthy and tasty proteins in a sustainable way.
The first phase of the project will run until June, with the second phase involving the launch of a demonstration unit in September if the first phase is successful. FerMôntation could have a significant impact on the Welsh economy and the global food industry by providing sustainable and environmentally friendly food production methods that align with future generations’ well-being.