MicroHarvest launched its cutting-edge pilot plant in Lisbon, enabling the company to produce single-cell protein samples.
The official launch of the pilot, marked by an event held on November 16 in Lisbon and attended by partners and investors, is a significant milestone in MicroHarvest's mission to reshape the landscape of sustainable food production.
With the ability to operate beyond lab scale in-house, the pilot plant will accelerate MicroHarvest's journey toward commercialization and market availability. The plant will produce protein samples for customers, allowing the company to further hone its technology and test production runs before bringing them to commercial scale.
The pilot plant is located at their Factory Lisbon site. In a remarkable span of six months, MicroHarvest transformed a portion of its office space into a fully equipped laboratory and pilot plant.
“This pilot plant serves as tangible evidence of the scalability of our process. With a lower investment when compared to alternative technologies, and within a mere 200 square meters, we can achieve a daily production of 25 kg,” said Luísa Cruz, CTO of MicroHarvest.
Simultaneously, after successfully transferring the technology and scaling up production to reach daily outputs in tons, the team engaged a commercial production partner.
“The speed at which we accomplished this demonstrates that we have the right team and the right technology to make sustainable protein readily available at scale. This is of crucial importance as our food systems' ecological footprint must be minimized to remain within our planetary boundaries,” said COO Jonathan Roberz.
Katelijne Bekers, CEO of MicroHarvest, commented that “within just six months of opening our Lisbon office, our team has doubled in size, and we've achieved an impressive feat by constructing the pilot plant in record time – a truly remarkable journey. Within the next three months, we are on track to introduce our first product to the market. These milestones underscore our commitment to driving real impact by bringing commercially competitive, consistent, and sustainable ingredients to market fast.”
MicroHarvest’s proprietary technology enables the sustainable production of high-quality protein ingredients containing over 60% raw protein within just 24 hours. The pioneering approach significantly reduces resource consumption compared to conventional methods and has the potential to reshape the industry. It offers highly competitive, scalable, and consistent protein solutions applicable across diverse sectors, including feed, pet food, and human food.
The company's innovative biomass fermentation technology has already garnered significant attention after being honored with the prestigious Bloomberg NEF Pioneers Award earlier this year. As the sole European company to receive this recognition, MicroHarvest has established itself as an industry leader with a vision for a more sustainable future. Launching the pilot plant is a pivotal step towards the commercialization of this innovative technology.