Berkeley-based Perfect Day – which is creating ‘vegan’ dairy proteins without cows – is in talks with food industry partners about scaling up production in order to introduce dairy ingredients that vegans, vegetarians and dairy lovers alike can enjoy in products “in every aisle of the grocery store.”
Perfect Day is one of a new breed of companies in the ‘cellular agriculture’ business – using genetically engineered yeasts that have been ‘programmed’ to produce proteins or other ingredients found in plants or animals – on an industrial scale, without raising animals, and with less impact on the environment.
So how are the proteins produced?
In a nutshell, Perfect Day takes food grade yeast, and adds DNA sequences (which can be 3D printed using DNA synthetic biology techniques) which effectively instruct that yeast to produce the proteins found in milk – predominantly casein, but also lactoglobulin and lactoalbumin, the two proteins that form the bulk of whey protein in milk. It then throws them into big fermentation tanks with corn sugar and other nutrients to feed on and sits back while they get to work.
When the microbes have done their work at the bio-refnery, Perfect Day’s dairy proteins – which have the same organoleptic properties as their animal-based counterparts – are harvested via a mechanical process and can be used in everything from ice cream to branded fluid milk, protein powders and shakes, yogurt, pizza and any other product containing dairy proteins….
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