Sector News

Cow-Free: A possible future for dairy

March 5, 2022
Food & Drink

Arie Abo speaks to Amanda Jasi about using microorganisms as ‘cell factories’

Dairy-free alternatives are nothing new, with the likes of almond, rice, and soymilk stocking store shelves, as well as non-dairy cheese and yogurt. But imagine if it were possible to buy products that are not just dairy-free, but entirely cow-free.

The minds behind ImaginDairy did just that, developing precision fermentation technology to produce alternative milk proteins. Precision fermentation uses microorganisms as “cell factories” to create specific functional ingredients.

We spoke with Arie Abo, Chief Technology Officer at ImaginDairy, to learn more about the company’s milk protein-expression approach, existing bottlenecks and challenges, and the potential future for ImaginDairy’s technology.

Abo explains that there are six major proteins in milk that are important for dairy products, which are the focus of ImaginDairy’s production approach.

“There is no one that we know that produces all of the proteins in a commercial scale or capable of doing it at this stage. So, the approach that we took is to produce one protein at a time…using AI machine learning and wet lab experiments to identify solutions in the organism to produce one of the milk proteins in a commercial scale.”

The process developed by ImaginDairy relies on yeast and fungi to generate the six major milk proteins, Abo says. The gene which encodes the bovine milk protein of interest is inserted into a specific region of the microbial host organism’s genome, enabling it to produce and secrete the milk protein of interest without the cow.

During fermentation, the microorganisms secrete the protein into the surrounding media. In a batch process, after 4–5 days, the biomass is removed using centrifugation and the media is filtered and concentrated to harvest the “milk protein” solution. Calcium, vitamins, and other ingredients can be added to create a final milk product.

By Amanda Jasi


comments closed

Related News

September 25, 2022

Coca-Cola names new president of global ventures

Food & Drink

The Coca-Cola Co. has promoted Evguenia (Jeny) Stoichkova to president of global ventures, effective Jan. 1, 2023. Ms. Stoichkova joined Coca-Cola Bulgaria in 2004 and was most recently the president of the company’s Eurasia & Middle East division, a role she has held since 2021.

September 25, 2022

Perfect Day allies with Onego Bio to speed-up launch of animal-free eggs

Food & Drink

US-based Perfect Day, is partnering with Onego Bio, which specializes in creating animal-free eggs, aiming to accelerate the timeline to bring the eggs to the market. The business, with the use of its technology, plans to commercialize animal-free ovalbumin, the most abundant egg white protein extracted through precision fermentation.

September 25, 2022

EU fails on food waste: Report reveals bloc discards more than it imports

Food & Drink

Food waste costs the EU €143 billion per year (US$141.7 billion), with a report by Feedback EU raising the alarm of how it’s vital to reduce waste from farm to fork 50% by 2030 and the only way this will be achieved is by enforcing a mandatory directive forcing the food industry to do better and retailers to pay a tax of food waste.