and training






FerMentor implements science into daily fermentation practice. Key focus areas are:

► Microbial Physiology   ► Food and Health   ► Technology   ► Sustainability

Application areas include Food and Pharma and customers range from multinationals to start-ups.

Activities / Track record:

  • Discovery of microbes from natural niches, strain collections, and challenged mixed populations. Targetted benefits/applications include Probiotics, LBP’s (live biotherapeutic products), Post-biotics, enzyme production, viscosity and vitamin production.

  • Process development of fermentation processes for (strict) anaerobic microbes, starting from medium design, screening, optimisation to small and large scale (industrial) fermentations.

  • Trouble shooting fermentation processes including DSP. Microbial biomass production, enzymatic conversions, and dairy plants.

  • Product development in dairy, Foods related to the Protein Transition, formulation of bacterial powders.

  • Training and workshops. In company, academic and other lectures, but also hands on food fermentation workshops.

The fermentor

Bart Smit (PhD) focussed the last 20 years on the translation and application of science to industrial practice, and where possible even to the consumer.

  • Msc Food science and MSc Biotechnology from Wageningen University (NL), PhD in microbial physiology and fermentation technology

  • Advanced professional courses. Examples: fermentation technology (Delft, NL), Systems biology (Braunwald, Sw), Food fermentation (VLAG, NL).

  • Skill trainings includes project management, management styles, high potential leadership programme at FrieslandCampina, etc.

  • More extensive career info can be found at Linked-In and publications are collected at Google Scholar


  • Medium and Process development for the production of biomass of strict anaerobic microbes originating from human or animal samples.  Upscaling and downstream processing of microbial biomass into - for example - freeze dried drug substances. Relevant collaborations: NIZO food research and The Akkermansia Company.


  • Product and process development for fermented foods. Originally the focus was on dairy products cheese, yoghurt and probiotics, nowadays plant based foods using lactic acid bacteria and fungi are more in the spotlight.


  • Consultancy on precision fermentation and cultured meat.


  • Societal Engagement. To reach out to the consumer, Bart provides scientific input for the home-fermentation scene in the Netherlands. He does so by participating in festivals, workshops and reviewing books. Relevant names include: Christian WeijMeneer Wateetons, Emile van der Staak and Sandor Katz. In this scene Bart is involved in the realisation of “ProefTuin”, a special dedicated food hall focussing at sustainable food production and fermentation. At ProefTuin we provide courses and workshops, train students, and support product and concept development for food-companies. This, combined with lodging, dining and drinking facilities, offers a unique experience and portfolio focussing at the unique flavours of the local land. 


  • Trouble shooting.  Few examples: Decline in microbial yields, Tracing contaminations, Tracing textural defects in (plant based) yoghurts, Flavour inconsistencies in cheese manufacture.