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UK-based food-tech firm Better Dairy has secured US$22 million in Series A funding, edging it closer to getting its aged and hard cheeses into the testing phase. 

Better Dairy – which is in the R&D phase of developing animal-free cheeses using precision fermentation – produces products that are molecularly identical to traditional dairy.

The company notes that the process is similar to brewing beer, resulting in dairy.

The latest funding follows the company raising £1.6 million (US$2.1 million) in seed funding in a spherical led by Happiness Capital in 2020.

What makes Better Dairy stand out is its focus on targeting alternative hard cheese which is more of a challenge than softer cheese like mozzarella.Backing away from animal-based dairy 

Better Dairy’s founder Jevan Nagarajah has previously spoken about how unsustainable animal-based dairy is because of the huge amounts of water needed to produce one liter of milk and processes that emit high levels of CO2 into the atmosphere. 

What makes Better Dairy stand out is its focus on targeting alternative hard cheese. This may be considered more of a challenge than other food tech companies tackling softer cheese such as mozzarella or whey proteins. 

“By building a team that includes a chief scientific officer with 30 years of expertise making proteins for the pharmaceutical industry, we realized we could go complex and do it consciously,” says Nagarajah.

Joining Happiness Capital in the round of participants are RedAlpine, Vorwerk, Manta Ray, Acequia Capital and Stray Dog Capital.

Growth in alternative dairy

The alt-dairy space is going through somewhat of a growth period as food-tech innovators tap into rising demands from consumers for non-animal-based ingredients and products. 

Earlier this month, Brain Biotech and Formo joined forces   to scale the production of animal-free milk protein using proprietary genome editing technology. The move has the potential to accelerate the commercialization of alternative milk proteins.

Israeli-based start-up Imagindairy has unveiled  its fast-to-market, highly functional animal-free dairy proteins. The company creates natural milk proteins that it claims are indistinguishable from the real thing via a natural process of precision fermentation.

And earlier this year, Dutch plant-based ingredients manufacturer Fooditive introduced  its new vegan casein in animal-free alternative milk made from peas using fermentation. The ingredient is the first vegan casein made available for applications in the food industry.

Source : Food Ingredients first March 01,2022 Edited by Gaynor Selby

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