Israeli start-up Imagindairy has revealed plans to launch cruelty-free milk. Using precision fermentation technology, the company aims to make animal-free dairy accessible and affordable.
The Tel Aviv-based start-up uses its technology to make cow-free whey and casein proteins from yeast. It says the results are ‘indistinguishable from the real thing’.
“They have the flavour and texture – and, importantly, the functionality and nutritional value – of their animal-based counterparts,” the company said. Like animal-derived dairy, the new products will contain protein and calcium.
But they will be free from cholesterol, antibiotics, lactose, and GMOs.
The fermentation process takes 3 to 5 days. Imagindairy explained the procedure to FoodNavigator.
“We use a selected microbial system to produce the milk protein. Since we have been studying the host organism, we are able to convert it to our needs to produce in high amount the desired milk protein that is identical to the protein made in the cow’s mammary cells
“The protein is released to the growth media and easily harvested,” it said.
The team then dry the milk protein into a powder, which can be used to make dairy products.
The future of dairy
Imagindairy hopes it will attract consumers who enjoy milk products but want a more sustainable option.
There are around 270 million dairy cows in the world. In 2015, the dairy industry’s emissions made up 3.4 percent of the world’s total, which was nearly 50,000 million tonnes that year, the BBC said. This means dairy’s emissions almost match that of aviation and shipping’s combined.
Imagindairy has already raised $1.5 million in seed funding.
It plans to collaborate with dairy branded companies to get its products out there. The food tech company aims to launch its first product in two years.