Dairy protein from precision fermentation
So how do we actually do it? Producing food in the laboratory sounds quite freaky, like something from science fiction, we admit, but it's actually a centuries old tradition in human civilisation because its very similar to brewing beer.
Brewing beer through a traditional fermentation process was invented about 6'000 years ago, and is one of the oldest drinks produced by humans. We have based our production on this ancient process, but instead of growing beer, we are using precision fermentation to grow dairy protein. Of course, our precision fermentation is not exactly the same as beer brewing.
According to the Good Food Institute, traditional fermentation, used to produce beer, wine, yogurt, and cheese, is the process of changing a food through microbial anaerobic digestion, where microorganisms break down organic matter without using oxygen. Precision fermentation goes into more, well, precise detail, using microorganisms as "little production factories" to develop specific ingredients, like proteins, vitamins, and fats, instead of a finished product like beer or wine.
Below is a simple overview of our production process.
We explain in more detail about how we "teach" a yeast to produce a protein in Our Research.
making proteins in the lab
Basically, we take an animal's DNA, insert it into a yeast and tell the yeast to reproduce the protein - just like the animal would do. And then we "harvest" the secreted protein from the yeast, purify and spray-dry it to create a high-quality nutritionally equivalent dairy protein powder.
animal dna sample
We start with DNA from a mammal. For this, a very small sample is enough, and only ever needed once!
In our case, we start with goat DNA, because they produce very high-quality and low-allergen dairy proteins.
insert animal dna into yeast
We insert the goat DNA into the yeast to create a microorganism. Then we let the yeast reproduce this microorganism.
Grow the microorganism
Now we put the microorganism into the fermentation vessel and feed it until it grows enough to be able to produce the desired protein at a large scale.
Secretion and harvesting of the protein
Next, the microorganism will produce the desired protein and secrete it.
At this point, the secreted protein is "harvested": collected and separated from the host, the yeast that made it grow (because we don't want to eat the yeast.)
purification and spray-drying
Finally, the liquid with our protein is being purified, spray-dried and analyzed: We have a pure dairy protein powder!
Our dairy protein powder goes to our production partners and turns into foods we can eat!
We produce the same high-value proteins as mamals - but with precision fermentation. This does not harm nor even involve any animal in the production process but emmitts 97% less greenhouse gases and has the same (or better) nutritional values as dairy proteins.
We start with Goat DNA
Our solution starts with the DNA from a milk producing animal. Unfortunately, a lot of people cannot easily digest cow milk due to allergens that exist in cow milk, and therefore look for alternatives. While plant-based milk options can solve this problem, to a certain extent, they have a different taste and different nutritional value compared to cows milk.
Our dairy protein has the same high nutritional value as cow milk and tastes the same - but we start with a protein that is less allergenic than cow milk: goat milk. We begin with the protein from the goat because 98% of people who cannot consume cow milk are able to drink goat milk.
Goat milk, and in particular goat cheese, have a certain smell and flavor profile that some people find unpleasant. But don't worry: because we only take the protein - the most nutritionally important component of milk - our product will not taste or smell like goat milk because the taste and smell are delivered by other parts of the milk, like lactose and fat, which are not a part of our product.
HIGH-QUALITY DAIRY PROTEIN FROM PRECISION FERMENTATION
EQUIVALENT NUTRITIONAL VALUE
97% LESS GREENHOUSE GASES
We produce high-quality dairy proteins that are nutritionally equivalent to or better than what animals produce, using precision fermentation which reduces our greenhouse gas emissions by 97% compared to traditional agriculture. No animals are involved in our production process.
We are a million times faster in our research process, which helps us create our dairy protein-producing microorganism. Read more about how we do it here.
Read more about some of the complexities of climate change and how we are skipping the cow in the global food supply chain and greatly reducing our dependency on traditional animal agriculture and massively reducing GHG emissions - all while continuing to produce dairy proteins with high-quality nutritional value
Learn More About What We are Doing and Why