What does a Fermentation Expert or Consultant do? Fermentation strictly refers to the aerobic or anaerobic growth of bacteria, fungi, algae, and yeasts, but it is the common term used to refer to any growth process of bacteria, archaea, yeasts, algae, or fungi in glass or steel vessels outfitted with temperature and other environmental controls. Solid state fermentation is often completed in trays of media; and is a fermentation process occurring in the near absence of free liquid, employing an inert substrate or a natural substrate as a solid support.
A fermentation expert will have experience in culturing microorganisms at lab scale and the ability to develop an efficient process and optimize it for required outcomes. The outcomes will depend on the product being made – this can be biomass e.g. single cell protein animal feed or yeast for the food and brewing industry; intracellular products made by the cells e.g. proteins or nucleic acids; secreted products made by the cells, e.g. proteins or antibiotics; or metabolic products, e.g. ethanol, butanol or organic acids. Fermentation experts will develop a process that maximizes product quality and yield while minimizing cost. They will develop a process that is environmentally aligned and will aim to use sustainable and cheap feedstocks while maximizing the rate of production ensuring process intensity to minimize plant costs. Maximizing product yields is critical to make efficient use of feedstocks which are often the most expensive input. Fermentation scientists will also be informed about downstream processes, so that they can ensure that the fermentation products can be recovered efficiently; scale up, so that processes developed are scalable without loss of performance; and technology transfer, as most processes will need to be transferred from development facilities to manufacturing plants and in the case of successful deployment potentially to multiple manufacturing facilities.
A fermentation expert combines the scientific training of a microbiologist with the process and plant knowledge of the chemical engineer, and experience with a range of process types and microbial platforms is part of the make-up of an experienced practitioner.
At Lee Enterprises Consulting, we have many highly qualified fermentation experts available to assist as expert witnesses in these types of cases. Feel free to call or email us for more information.