Revolutionising the Plate: Unleash the Power of Alternative Proteins & Novel Foods with Fera





Safeguarding the Future of Protein Innovation

At Fera Science, our commitment to a sustainable protein future goes beyond innovation—we ensure it's safe for consumers, adheres to governing policies, and meets the highest standards of quality. 

We're here to be your trusted partner and support you in your mission to satisfy the world’s appetite for protein without compromising our planet, animals, or people. We're at the forefront of safety testing, ensuring the products you produce pioneer a new era in protein production - one that combines innovation with sustainability, all whilst adhering to governing regulations.

Why alternative proteins?

In a world where global meat consumption is on the rise and the challenges of sustainability, environmental impact, and supply chain concerns are ever-present, the development of alternative proteins becomes a crucial endeavour. Alternative proteins, including plant-based substitutes, insect protein, and cultivated meats, offer a sustainable pathway forward.

At Fera, we understand the imperative for alternative protein development. Our role is not only to foster innovation but to ensure the safety and compliance of these novel foods. Through advanced analytical solutions, we navigate the complexities of emerging contaminants, providing comprehensive safety testing for alternative proteins.


How are alternative proteins created?

Embark on an exciting journey into the world of alternative proteins, where innovation meets sustainability to reshape our food landscape.


Plant-Based Proteins

Plant-based proteins start with the careful selection of raw materials like soy or peas. These ingredients undergo extraction to obtain proteins, followed by processes like texturisation to achieve the desired consistency. Flavoring and seasoning are then added to mimic traditional meat taste, resulting in products such as burgers or sausages.



Insects like black soldier flies, crickets, grasshoppers, or mealworms are cultivated in controlled environments, followed by the harvesting of mature insects. After processing them into a powder or paste, insect protein could be incorporated into various food products, including protein bars, snacks, or baked goods.


Fermentation for Proteins

Fermentation involves selecting specific microorganisms as "cell factories" to produce proteins. Microorganisms are cultured in bioreactors, and once fermentation is complete, proteins are harvested, processed, and applied to create a range of products like meat alternatives, dairy substitutes, or supplements.



Cultivated meat starts with a small sample of animal cells, cultured and provided with nutrients to multiply. As the cells form muscle tissue, it is harvested and processed into meat products such as burgers or sausages. This method eliminates the need for traditional animal farming, providing a sustainable and ethical alternative.


Overcoming Hurdles: Challenges in the Alternative Protein Landscape

The alternative protein industry, while promising, faces several practical challenges that need to be addressed for widespread adoption and success:

  1. Consumer Acceptance: Convincing consumers to embrace alternative proteins can be challenging. Overcoming taste, texture, and perception barriers associated with traditional meat is crucial for market acceptance.

  2. Cost of Production: Currently, alternative proteins can be more expensive to produce than traditional meats due to factors like raw material costs, processing methods, and scale. Reducing production costs is essential for competitive pricing.

  3. Supply Chain Constraints: Securing a consistent and sustainable supply of raw materials, especially for plant-based proteins, is a significant challenge. This is impacted by factors such as weather conditions and agricultural practices.

  4. Regulatory Hurdles: Navigating regulatory frameworks, especially regarding safety assessments and labeling, poses a challenge. Cultivated meats, for example, face regulatory approval as novel foods, requiring thorough safety evaluations.

  5. Technological Innovation: Advancements in technologies, especially in precision fermentation for protein production, are ongoing. Scaling up and optimising these processes for commercial production remains a challenge.

  6. Infrastructure: Developing the infrastructure for alternative protein production, including insect farming or fermentation facilities, requires significant investment and planning.

  7. Market Competition: As the industry grows, competition among alternative protein producers intensifies. Standing out in a crowded market and differentiating products are ongoing challenges.

Choose Fera for comprehensive safety testing

When it comes to alternative proteins and novel foods, trust Fera for comprehensive safety testing. Our expertise, advanced technology, and commitment to quality make us the ideal partner to ensure your innovative protein products meet regulatory standards and are safe for global consumers.


We ensure safety

One of the biggest challenges facing the alternative protein food industry is ensuring safety. Fera's cutting-edge solutions are designed to address this challenge. Traditional analytical methods fall short when dealing with novel proteins and foods, as potential contaminants from new sources and processing methods cannot be predicted. Our approach enables the detection and identification of unknown or unexpected compounds, essential during new product development and compliance with regulatory requirements, including Novel Foods authorisation.

Navigating complex supply chains

As global food supply chains become increasingly complex, the need to monitor risks related to new and emerging contaminants becomes paramount. Our non-targeted testing approaches provide a robust solution. By comparing the compound profile of a product to reference "fingerprints," we assess authenticity, safety, and quality issues. Fera’s scientists, equipped with state-of-the-art technology, deploy advanced data treatment strategies to detect and identify unknown or unexpected compounds within a food sample, eliminating the need to pre-select specific chemicals of interest.


Our non-targeted analysis approach extends beyond safety assurance. We apply this method to understand the degradation and transformation of compounds during food processing or over time (stability studies). Additionally, it aids in identifying differences in contaminant fingerprints among groups of samples.

See more from Fera

In line with our commitment to fostering industry dialogue and driving innovation, we're delighted to introduce Fera's new 'Collaborative Insights' series. 


A Focus on Food Authenticity and Fraud of Emerging Novel Protein Sources

Dr Rosario Romero, Fera Science


A Look at the Current Regulatory Context of Novel Foods

Dr Rosario Romero, Fera Science & Dr Hannah Lester, Atova Regulatory Consulting


What's in a Name?

Dr Rosario Romero, Fera Science & Dr Christ Bryant, Bryant Research


Analytical Capabilities and Areas for Future Development

Dr Rosario Romero, Fera Science & Dr Michael Walker, Queen's University Belfast

View our webinars

Keeping ahead of the Game - alternative proteins: food safety in a regulatory landscape

This session brought together some of the alternative protein sector’s experts to discuss how they are shaping the future of food. We discussed topics surrounding:

Current global and UK regulatory landscape
The potential food safety risks of alternative proteins
The challenges faced by UK companies with new foundational technology
How cultivated meat starts with cells

How To Keep Food Authentic: Navigating Alternative Proteins

During this session, our expert speakers talked through the finding of the recent Defra report "Implications of emerging novel protein sources for food authenticity and labelling". We also discussed topics surrounding:

Food authenticity and fraud in Novel Foods
The current regulatory context across the globe
Food labelling challenges
How to support an emerging industry in addressing real-world challenges

Want to know more?

Embark on your protein innovation journey with confidence. Connect with Fera today and let us safeguard the future of your novel foods.