March 1, 2018

Yeast May Put Cows Out Of Work

 |  By: Mike Opperman

Research and technology has led to laboratory-grown meat products that vow to push regular beef off the market. Now a Silicon Valley-based startup company could do the same for dairy. 

According to an article in Quartz, Perfect Day is a food-technology startup aggressively seeking to change how people think about traditional dairy products. The company has figured out a way to reconfigure some of the key components of dairy products. 

If you think this is some fly-by-night company with a hair brained idea that will never get any traction - think again. The company raised $24.7 million in funding, and is now in talks to sell its patented non-milk proteins to large food brands as a whey, casein and milk-based protein replacement. 

Perfect Day, the article states, wants to "train" yeast to create milk components without needing the cow. The company's protein product is made by altering sections of the DNA sequence of food-grade yeast so the organisms, once fed with certain nutrients, produce several key proteins found in milk, including casein and whey. In the article, Perfect Day says its proteins have all the functionality and taste of the milk proteins but with none of the perceived environmental downsides. 

"We're not here to destroy the dairy industry," says Perfect Day cofounder Ryan Pandya. "A lot of other startups are more militaristic about that."

Some are skeptical that Perfect Day can actually be successful. The article quotes Matt Gould, editor of Dairy & Food Market Analyst, who says that first, the company has to prove its proteins are as pure as conventional proteins. Next, the company has to compete with conventional dairy ingredients on cost. Perfect Day says it hopes to eventually produce cost-effective proteins as it scales up production. 

To read the full article, click here

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