Synthetic, animal-free collagen could produce candy, shampoo and lotions of the future

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Image Credit: MyDomaine

Geltor, based in San Leandro, California, produces the protein collagen without animals. Collagen is found in a variety of foods, personal-care products and other items, such as shampoos, body lotions, strings for musical instruments and gelatin.

Alex Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov, the co-founders of Geltor, met in 2012 in the molecular biology department at Princeton University. They began to use fermentation to produce collagen in a San Francisco lab called IndieBio, which provides $250,000 in funding and a four-month program to jump-start their business.

The process is similar to how beer is fermented. Geltor scientists take carbon, nitrogen and oxygen and convert them into collagen using microbial fermentation.

Jeremy Coller was one of Geltor’s earliest investors. Rosie Wardle, the program director of the Jeremy Coller Foundation, who advises on Coller’s investments, believes this method is how protein will be produced in the future.

Related article:  Could food of the future come from 'microbial protein factories' instead of plants and animals?

“The current system of protein production is a broken system,” Wardle said.

“It’s resource-intensive and having a massive detrimental impact on the environment. Business as usual isn’t really an option for the protein-production sector going forward. So we started looking at companies that were providing the solutions to that, and Geltor was one of the companies that is focused on exactly that.”

Read full, original article: Lab-grown gelatin is the fake food of the future, one start-up believes

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