Time-Travelling Milkman Raises €850K to “Cream” Plant-Based Dairy with Sustainable Sunflower Fat

Dutch startup Time-travelling Milkman (TTM) has raised €850,000 in funding to scale production and expand the market entry of Oleocream, a sunflower fat designed to replace palm and coconut oil in plant-based dairy.

New investor Alianza Team and existing shareholders Oost NL, SHIFT Invest, and Oterap participated in the seed funding round. This capital injection builds on the previous investment round in 2021.

TTM’s readily available and scalable solution, Oleocream, is developed using a patented process that produces small globules of fat (oleosomes) from the seeds of European sunflowers. Described as a dairy cream equivalent, the sunflower fat is said to improve the mouthfeel and creaminess profiles of dairy-free products.

Dimitris Karefyllakis, CEO and co-founder at TTM, commented: “We have a clear plan on how we want to achieve our ambitions with TTM. You can’t do this alone; you need partners to help you take the next step.”

A bowl of creamy milk
© Time-travelling Milkman

Creaming plant-based dairy

A spin-off of Wageningen University & Research, TTM aims to become a B2B supplier of sustainable fats to “creamify all dairy alternatives” without relying on animals.

According to the company, the current plant-based dairy offering does not deliver the taste, texture, and nutritional value consumers expect, so providing delicious and creamy products is essential for a smooth transition to sustainable diets.

“TTM has an innovative solution on its hands”

Oleocream, made from local plant seeds, additionally taps into sustainability. According to Karefyllakis, dairy alternatives still rely on palm oil, a product that leads to the deforestation of tropical rainforests.

Carl Heijne, team manager Food at Oost NL, shared, “The protein transition is a major challenge of our time. But existing plant-based dairy alternatives still have many disadvantages. TTM has an innovative solution on its hands.”

Time-Travelling Milkman
© Time-travelling Milkman

Innovation and sustainability

There is a growing emphasis on the importance of fats in plant-based products for advancing the industry and creating successful new products.

While most innovations focus on ingredients for alt meat, Yali Bio and Cult Biosciences are harnessing the power of yeasts to produce fats for dairy alternatives. Bolder Foods, a food tech company from Belgium, has created a mycelium-based fat that is said to deliver creaminess and dairy flavors to cheese alternatives.

Meanwhile, targeting multiple applications NoPalm Ingredients crafts customized fermented oils and fats and HIFOOD and Alianza Team Europe have developed a plant-based fat alternative to tropical oils and chemical emulsions.

Luis Alberto Botero, CEO and President of Alianza Team, said, “We are excited to be investing in and collaborating with Time-travelling Milkman. We are convinced that our shared core values of innovation and sustainability will be the key to healthier, more nutritional foods that will improve our food systems for future generations.”

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