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Former Impossible Foods Executive Joins Yali Bio to Scale Animal-Free Fats

Yali Bio, a biotech company based in California, announces the appointment of Dr. Don DiMasi, a bioeconomy leader and former Impossible Foods executive, as the new SVP of engineering and biomanufacturing.

DiMasi, the first to fill this role, will focus on building process development and the company’s biomanufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for animal-free fats for alt dairy products such as butter, cheese, and ice cream.

DiMasi has an extensive experience in industrial bioprocessing. He was recently recognized in The Bioeconomy 500 2023, as one of the sector’s most outstanding leaders. Formerly, he was Impossible Foods’ SVP of engineering and process development. During his tenure at Impossible, the company launched the Impossible Burger and rolled out the Impossible Whopper with Burger King.

A cheese wedge
© Yali Bio

“Don will lead our engineering and bio-manufacturing efforts as we’re entering an exciting new phase of technology scale up and manufacturing of our designer-fat ingredients. Don’s significant experiences scaling up fermentation processes economically to commercial volumes are recognized broadly in the industry, and we are very pleased to have him joining Yali Bio,” says Yulin Lu, Yali Bio’s CEO and founder. 

DiMasi has also served in similar roles at companies developing sustainable alternatives, including C16 Biosciences, Brightseed, Bond Pet Foods, and Solazyme (now Corbion). Additionally, he recently consulted for Synonym Biotechnologies and Hawkwood Biotech Partners.

Fermentation-based fats

Yali Bio, founded in 2021, engineers lipids and fats for the plant-based industry using precision fermentation, deep learning, and food genomics. The company has developed a platform that ferments yeast to make “designer” ingredients using carbon-neutral feedstocks. Last year the company secured $3.9 million in a seed round led by Essential Capital, bringing its total raised capital to $5 million.

A butter swirl
© Yali Bio

The company also announced plans to deliver its “versatile” animal-free fats to clients and manufacturing partners looking for sustainable ingredients in the coming months. Synthetic biology, considered the fourth agricultural revolution, delivers high-quality ingredients but has a significantly lower environmental impact than traditional animal agriculture. 

“Biomanufacturing at scale is a key success metric for fermentation-based food ingredients. I’m looking forward to scaling up Yali Bio’s fats, and enabling the business into the next phase of growth,” says DiMas. 




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