Scaling Bioprocesses


Fermentation is one of the oldest biotechnological processes.

But it’s not only for beer, kombucha, and sauerkraut. At Ginkgo, we incorporate high technology into our fermentation processes to rapidly optimize process parameters for scale up.

The Task

Working with one of our flavor and fragrance partners, we fine-tuned an existing pathway in yeast to produce an important flavor ingredient more efficiently, then optimized the conditions for scale-up.

The Ambr 250 System

Ginkgo’s Foundry utilizes the Sartorius ambr250 mL disposable reactor system to reduce operating costs via automation. While one engineer could traditionally run a few benchtop reactors at a time, our small team of fermentation engineers can run hundreds of ambr250 bioreactors simultaneously. The reactors allow for rapid characterization of multiple parameters, including pH, agitation, off-gas profile, and feed profile. We use this system to determine the optimal conditions for growth and titer rapidly.

Improving Product Titer

For one of our flavor and fragrance partners, we used the information generated from the Foundry to rationally improve the strain and fermentation process conditions, exceeding the customer’s desired product titer by 50%. Furthermore, the conditions optimized at a volume of only 250 mL were effectively translated into pilot scale at 300 L and commercial production at 50,000 L.

Ginkgo’s fermentation systems allow for high-throughput screening without compromising quality of data that informs production at a large scale.