KALAMAZOO, MICH. — Kalsec has entered into a master service agreement with biotechnology developer Willow Biosciences Inc. to explore precision fermentation processes for a high volume, natural food application.

The research will focus on the functional benefits of the S. cerevisiae fungus, also called brewer’s yeast, which includes improved expression and engineering of metabolic pathways.

“Kalsec continually researches new technologies to enhance sustainability and efficiency in our production capabilities and enable the maturation of markets for natural products,” said Roger Nahas, PhD, executive vice president of global R&D and chief innovation officer at Kalsec. “We look forward to this collaboration with Willow to introduce new, precision-fermented products to benefit our customers and the environment.”

The partnership combines Kalsec’s expertise in natural product development with Willow’s fully integrated technology platform, “FutureGrown,” for rapid strain engineering and precision fermentation.

Per the agreement, the companies will cooperate on research, development and scaling operations. Following successful product development, the companies expect to commercialize the product under a licensing agreement.

“We are pleased to add a new functional ingredient to our portfolio, highlighting the demand for our fully integrated FutureGrown technology platform,” said Peter Seufer-Wasserthal, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Willow. “We welcome the opportunity to advance Kalsec’s range of natural, sustainable products while also evolving Willow’s business strategy.”