Vivici cow logo

© Vivici

Fermentation

7 Fermentation Companies Paving the Whey to a Cow-Free Dairy Industry

Following our recent summary of producers making alternatives to casein protein, below is a roundup of the companies using cutting-edge technology to make whey proteins with microbes; bypassing cheesemaking to retire cows from the dairy business. Whey proteins, derived from the whey or the liquid portion of milk that separates during cheese production, are known for their rapid absorption and high branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which play an essential role in muscle growth and recovery. They have been widely used in the last decades as ingredients in protein powders and bars targeting athletes. Whey proteins include β-lactoglobulin, α-lactalbumin, immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, bovine lactoferrin, and lactoperoxidase. Precision fermentation companies mainly produce a bio-identical version of the most abundant of them, β-lactoglobulin, to craft the next …

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Crepes filled with animal-free cream

© Imagindairy

Fermentation

Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks Receive Grant to Accelerate the Launch of Cow-Free Dairy Proteins

Israeli animal-free dairy protein developer Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), a Boston-based biotech specializing in cell programming, announce a partnership to accelerate the introduction of a new wave of cow-free dairy. A joint grant from the Board of Governors of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation has partly funded the companies’s multiyear program to commercialize non-whey proteins. The collaboration will leverage Ginkgo Bioworks’ Protein Expression Services and Imagindairy’s process development and scale-up expertise to develop and manufacture animal-free whey cost-effectively to reach prices similar to dairy proteins.  Ginkgo is also working with the Chicago-based alt-seafood producer Aqua Cultured Foods to improve the economics and functions of its microbial strains for large-scale operations. Jennifer Wipf, CEO at Ginkgo Bioworks, shares, “Being awarded this …

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Imagindairy

© Imagindairy

Company News

Imagindairy Advances Precision Fermentation Production for Animal-Free Dairy Ingredients

Israeli food tech startup Imagindairy reached a significant milestone today with the acquisition and operation of its industrial-scale precision fermentation production lines, which are dedicated to producing alternative dairy ingredients. The company claims that this achievement positions Imagindairy as the first company in the industry to fully own and operate its own industrial-scale production lines exclusively for animal-free milk proteins. The company’s fermentation technology, combined with increased production capacity, enables Imagindairy to offer animal-free products to brands at competitive prices, at price parity with traditional dairy. Co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy, Dr. Eyal Afergan, comments, “Having just entered the landscape three years ago, this achievement is a big step forward for us. We’ve overcome industry-wide hurdles that have previously hindered precision fermentation dairy, including addressing …

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Imagindairy secures self-affirmed GRAS status for animal-free dairy proteins

© Tal Shahar

Company News

Imagindairy Obtains Self-Affirmed GRAS Status in the US for Animal-Free Protein, Inaugurates Headquarters

Israeli-based food tech startup Imagindairy announces that its animal-free whey protein has obtained the US self-affirmed GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) in accordance with FDA requirements. Receiving GRAS status means Imagindairy’s animal-free whey protein is considered safe for use in food and beverages. This regulatory approval opens opportunities for new collaborations with companies looking to enter into the animal-free dairy space in the US. Furthermore, it signifies a pivotal step for the commercialization of its ingredients. New headquarters Imagindairy also announces the opening of its new and improved headquarters near Haifa, Israel. The space has been custom-designed to support the company in its next growth phase. Besides the new offices, the new location features a state-of-the-art laboratory for the R&D of ingredient solutions and …

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Danone invests in Imagindairy to develop animal-free dairy

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Company News

Danone Embraces the New Era of Animal-Free Dairy with Investment in Imagindairy

Israeli biotech company Imagindairy recently announced it has received an investment from dairy giant Danone through its corporate venture arm, Danone Manifesto Ventures.  As a strategic investor (the amount was not disclosed), Danone will join Imagindairy’s journey in making microbial proteins by leveraging precision fermentation. These novel proteins will allow manufacturers to produce animal-free dairy with all the nutritional values of traditional milk in a sustainable way. Earlier this month, Danone led a $3.5 million strategic investment round in Israel’s Wilk. It invested $2 million, revealing its interest in joining Wilk to develop cell-based dairy and infant formula components. Steakholder Foods, a 3D-printed cultivated meat company, also participated in the round. Making animal-free products a reality “Imagindairy is thrilled to work with Danone Manifesto Ventures, which is bringing strategic and …

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microbial protein Formo cheese gratin

© Formo

Cultivated, Cell-Cultured & Biotechnology

Food Tech Leaders Launch Food Fermentation Europe to Bring Sustainable Animal-Free Foods to EU Market

A group of leading players in precision fermentation announce they have come together to form Food Fermentation Europe (FFE), a new alliance working to create a more resilient and sustainable food system in Europe. Representing the region’s fermentation food and food ingredient sector, along with its surrounding ecosystem, FFE says it will work with regulators to bring more sustainable animal-free foods to the European market.  FFE’s founding members include Better Dairy, Formo, Imagindairy, Onego Bio and Those Vegan Cowboys. The group says its members are united in the pursuit to improve current unsustainable food systems and have three primary objectives:  To raise awareness and build a supportive, forward-looking policy framework for fermentation food and food ingredients in Europe. To advocate for a predictable, non-discriminatory and …

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Imagindairy founders

Co-founders Tamir Tuller, Eyal Afergan and Arie Abo. ©Imagindairy

Investments & Finance

Imagindairy Raises $28 Million in Extended Seed Round for Alt Dairy Scale-Up 

Imagindairy, the Israeli food tech developing animal-free milk proteins, has raised an additional $15 million in its extended seed round, bringing its total raised to $28 million. The raise makes it one of the highest-earning seed rounds in the alt protein space, with Imagindairy to use the investment to scale up its precision fermentation platform.  The extended seed round follows a $13 million seed round announced in November 2021, with investors showing confidence in Imagindairy’s proprietary platform that it claims can significantly amplify protein expression, enabling cost-effective production of animal-free milk proteins. The startup states that its solution overcomes one of the biggest hurdles in alt-dairy protein production, allowing brands to sell analog dairy products at consumer-friendly prices.  Imagindairy creates the animal-free milk proteins from …

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Imagindairy Team

Imagindairy Team ©Imagindairy

Investments & Finance

Israel’s Animal-Free Real Dairy Startup Imagindairy Completes $13M Seed Round 

Imagindairy, the Israeli food tech company creating dairy milk without cows has announced the completion of a $13 million seed round. Imagindairy creates real milk proteins that are indistinguishable from the conventional counterpart using its proprietary technology. “Once we reach commercialization, more consumers will be able to enjoy eating animal-free dairy products” Based on a systems and synthetic biology platform, Imagindairy innovation allows manufacturers to offer cow-free, sustainable milk, and dairy products with all the nutritional values of dairy milk. Imagindairy is reported to be currently collaborating with leading dairy companies to offer a complete range of dairy-free proteins. Aiming to be in Israeli retail by 2023, Imagindairy feeds microorganisms that are 20 times more efficient than cows at converting feed into food. Offering food …

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Imagindairy

Image courtesy of Imagindairy Ltd.

Company News

Real Milk, No Cows: Israeli Startup Imagindairy Introduces Fast-to-Market Functional Animal-Free Dairy Proteins

Though the rise and rise of plant-based milks has been outstanding, many consumers of cow’s milk products may feel plant-based dairy alternatives fall short of meeting their sensory demands. Israeli start-up Imagindairy Ltd. is creating true dairy proteins via a natural process of precision fermentation, yet still leaving the cow out of the equation.  The unique protein structure of dairy milk is what provides its characteristic texture, flavor, and nutritional value. Imagindairy’s animal-free dairy products boast the same complement of nutrients as cow’s milk, from protein content to mineral composition, including calcium. At the same time, the proprietary technology radically lowers the burden of dairy livestock on the environment. While the plant-based and cell-cultured sectors continue to expand – both in dairy alternatives and beyond …

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