Steinecker and Swiss start-up support each other in the new food business
3/1/2024 Food/Feed Article

Steinecker and Swiss start-up support each other in the new food business

The Swiss start-up Food Brewer and the Krones subsidiary Steinecker are cooperating in the development of bioreactors for the new food sector. The brewing expert is making its newly developed reactor available; the start-up is testing various application cases at its Horgen site and offering customer trials.

Krones bioreactor food brewer at a trade fair booth The Steinecker bioreactor has a capacity of 500 litres. Ten to 20 per cent biomass can be produced in it.

Brewers and maltsters are among the first biotechnologists in history. It was therefore probably only a matter of time before Krones and its brewing technology subsidiary Steinecker discovered their expertise in the fermentative production of foodstuffs. The fact that they are incorporating the expertise of a new food start-up is certainly helpful in the development of a new product category.

Proteins from the fermentation tank

To develop the bioreactor, Steinecker has repurposed tanks that are used as fermentation units for fermenting beer. The centrepiece is a recirculation unit, aseptic valve technology and a low-shear aseptic pump. The reactor equipped in this way is integrated into a temperature-controlled sterile tank. The best conditions for the healthy growth of cells of all kinds, especially for the cell-based production of new food products.

Precision fermentation in the bioreactor

Steinecker presented its new bioreactor for the first time at BrauBeviale 2023. It can be used for both precision fermentation and cell cultivation. Precision fermentation can be used to "programme" animal or plant cells. They then produce a specific protein or enzyme, fat, vitamin, etc. Proteins produced by fermentation in this way can be further processed into meat, egg or milk alternatives.

Start-up Food Brewer contributes bioprocessing expertise

The cooperation partner Food Brewer has expertise in bioprocess engineering and will test various applications. The start-up also offers customer trials with the Steinecker reactors at its Horgen site and provides support with scaling and bioprocessing if required. Food Brewer specialises in biotechnological food production as an alternative to conventional agriculture.


Ulla Reutner

Dr. Ulla Reutner

Chemist and freelance specialised journalist