We’ve heard of almond milk and soy milk but now, milk is being produced in labs by using microbes.Several dairy companies have taken an interest toward develop milk proteins made by microbes such as yeast and algae.Dubbed “precision fermentation,” this process can transform the dairy industry, and big names like Nestle and Starbucks have already started taking steps to adopt it.
Precision dairy products do not have cholesterol and lactose
Cattle, used for beef or dairy, is said to be the first agricultural source of production of greenhouse gases worldwide.Given the surging concern of climate change, just as how lab-grown meat is considered to be a game-changer in the food industry, lab-grown milk can also emerge as a big disruptor considering precision dairy products do not contain cholesterol, lactose, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
What is precision fermentation?
In precision fermentation, genetically-engineered microbes are used to create specific products. It has been used for decades to produce drugs and food additives and has only recently been employed for producing consumables.The process can be compared to that which has been used in the brewing of beer, making insulin for diabetic patients, or producing rennet for cheese.
There is a tedious separation process involved
Once the microbes produce the proteins after feeding on sugars in fermentation tanks, there is a long process to segregate the milk protein from the medium, wash it, and dry it in a spray dryer so the powder can be used to make food.
Perfect Day developed the world’s first animal-free milk protein
Perfect Day, a California-based start-up, developed the world’s first, animal-free milk protein that’s identical to that of cow’s milk.The company also has a 90,000-square-foot production facility in Bengaluru, India.Their ingredients are used in Brave Robot ice cream and Modern Kitchen cream cheese in the US, and California Performance Co. protein powder in the US, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Starbucks may soon offer cappuccino made from lab-grown milk
General Mills, which produces brands like Pillsbury, released Bold Cultr cream cheeses using Perfect Day’s products.Perfect Day is collaborating with Nestle, Starbucks, and other companies to provide milk protein for their products and with Mars to develop a more eco-friendly chocolate bar.The reason why mainstream food companies hail precision farming is that it can potentially bring down carbon footprint.
Perfect Day is expanding its footprint in India
Perfect Day recently acquired Sterling Biotech Limited for Rs. 638 crores, a move that could double its production capacity in the future.Notably, it has been approved by the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) for marketing its products in the country.Their teams are currently based in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka and could grow to other states as well.
Source : Newsbyte March 13th 2023 by Sanjana Shankar