Fermentation Safety-UP-System: Industry level fermentation safety and quality up-grade with real-time microbiome monitoring
Metrology Lab Ltd.
The experiment objective is to create an ultra-transparent fermentation process and product safety methodology based on real-time bacterial counting. The answers will get simple and controllable once the right sensors are applied in course of the fermentation process and the in-depth knowledge base or data on the fermentation techniques and outcomes and microbiological inputs and outputs are analyzed and put into the dynamic algorithms. The proposed experiment will significantly improve the existing state of art operation in CMYK, will improve work efficiency, and will provide full systematization and control over the fermentation process.
The two partners in the present project are combining their expertise in two different fields in order to come up with an innovation in high demand by the food industry within the last 10-15 years. Now after the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, this solution is even more demanded as food processing is hardly pushed towards presenting safer, healthier and faster processing technologies, higher quality standards of food, etc. The project we present for the DIH-WORLD program is focused on increasing the efficiency of the production of CMYK Ingredients via a digital solution designed and developed by Metrology Lab with the new implementation.
The fluorescence reaction of different types of bacteria is well known in the life science area but still not used in small enterprises due to lack of resources for big investments and R&D. A solution that gives a bacterial “histogram” being followed in real-time during the process of fermentation will allow gentle interaction in the fermentation process and this way “designed” output. The precision sensor system patented by the Metrology lab aims to introduce real-time bacterial counting by fluorescence spectroscopy.
- Selected fluorescent dyes (Propidium-Iodide, Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)) suitable for detection of most critical pathogens and other focus microbiome species, etc. during the very initial phases of the process of obtaining fermented drinks.
- Made the prototype of the analysing tools and spectrometer according to the design approved by both partners and validated that the chamber and the measuring system are compatible
- Conducted the real-time flow experiments with the in-vitro defined microbiome. Created a deep learning network to analyse the data from the sensors and create a pattern that gives enough real-time information to the operator- does he need to change anything or is the system stable
- Tied all the electronics together in one user-friendly program, that doesn’t require any special education before hand.
- Creating a business model for the final product
Impact of the experiment
The experiment has had great impact on both the SME and the DIH. The main outcome is the development of a real-time industrial fermentation analyzer (RTIFA) – a system of sensors and fluorescence spectrometer that analyses and gives a full profile of the fermentation in real time so that adequate decisions can be made during the production process. The impact is significant due to having a compact and user-friendly system capable of collecting large variations of characteristics- both physical and chemical, and doing all of that in real-time is a unique product for the market. Its adaptivity also is a huge improvement – with a little adjustment it can track and follow all types of food and beverage fermentation
- Organised an event at Sofia Tech Park in our Food-Tech laboratory. We have invited over 50+ people from the industry, PRs and investors. We had a “theoretical part” with a presentation, and later showed what we have created so far.
- We visited Anuga FoodTec 2022 at the Cologne Messe where we presented our project among other projects of CMYK Ingredients