Brewing technology for the fermentative production of alternative proteins

    Using precision fermentation, animal or plant cells can be specifically programmed or optimised to produce a specific product such as enzymes, fats, proteins, vitamins, flavourings and natural pigments. Fermentatively produced proteins can then be combined with other ingredients and further processed to reproduce meat, egg or dairy products.

    A concrete example of the cultivation and replication of such proteins is biomass production. Here, cells are placed in a tank where cell multiplication is initiated. And this is exactly where Steinecker comes into play with its own bioreactor. The key factor: It was developed on the basis of the proven Poseidon fermentation unit from brewing technology and works with a circulation unit instead of an agitator. In addition, the recirculation unit is equipped with aseptic valve technology from Evoguard and a low-shear aseptic pump. Integrated in a sterile tank with steam or condensate barrier, cells can be cultivated or fermentations carried out.  

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    Brochure Bioreactor by Steinecker
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    Tasks of a bioreactor

    • to prevent sedimentation of cells
    • to provide adequate mass transfer of nutrients within the overall tank volume
    • to provide adequate heat transfer between the tempering jacket and the tank contents
    • to supply the cells with oxygen
    • to supply the cells with nutrients and other ingredients
    Sterile environment
    • to prevent contamination

    The recirculation of the tank volume under sterile conditions is the key task of an efficient fermentation process.

    Method of operation of the dynamic fermentation


    Recirculation for an efficient fermentation

    • Various outlet housings at different heights within the tank: are not only used as outlet but also as inlet
    • Continuous mixing in a recirculation circuit: use of a recirculation unit instead of an agitator
    • Representative measurements of process parameters by means of continuous flow through the field devices in the circuit
    • Less spray shadow during cleaning
    • Maintainability through easy accessibility of seals, field devices and motors
    • Possibility of a fed-batch process by recirculation with the top opening
    • Can be retrofitted into existing tanks
    • Different flow directions possible (for homogenization, aeration, fluidized bed process or sedimentation for cell harvesting)
    • Flexibility through pipe diameter dimensioning and adjustment of the volume flows in the pipe system

    The processes in the bioreactor in detail

    The processes in the bioreactor in detail

    Tank construction – From tank to bioreactor

    Our expertise

    • Manufacturing halls specially designed for tank construction
    • Automated processes for tank dome and shell production
    • Precisely coordinated work steps, carried out by qualified welders
    • High-performance and program-controlled production machines for cutting, drawing and welding work
    • Highest quality through a globally recognised and standardised welding and inspection procedure
    • Surface treatment with polishing and pickling solutions, including ceramic blasting of the outer surfaces

    The benefits of the Steinecker bioreactor

    Efficient solution for high production outputs

    The use of a recirculation unit enables the realisation of high production volumes, and the costs still remain within reasonable limits.

    Use of approved technology

    As the bioreactor is based on the concept of the Steinecker Poseidon, it is based on a tried-and-tested technology that has already proved successful in practice at numerous breweries.

    Many years of experience in plant engineering

    As expert in brewing technology, Steinecker can look back on almost 150 years of experience in plant engineering. Customers who want to open up completely new markets in the field of fermentative production of alternative proteins are now also benefiting from this knowledge and are utilising Steinecker's proven technology to do so.

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