US-based alternative proteins startup Provenance Bio has created gelatin without animal proteins, using an innovative process called micro-comparmentilisation.
The animal-free gelatin could address some of the issues with conventional gelatin production, such as contamination and inconsistent quality between batches. It also has a carbon footprint 50 times lower than animal gelatin, and Provenance says it will be improving the efficiency of production to decrease the environmental impact even further.
The gelatin was developed from another of Provenance’s products, its animal-free collagen. Most types of synthetic collagen on the market are extremely expensive, but Provenance says it is working to bring costs down to under $15 per kilogram and hopes to soon achieve price parity with the conventional variety. It is already partnering with several companies that are interested in switching the collagen they use to a vegan alternative.
The development of cruelty-free alternatives to animal proteins is a growing area, with Clara Foods recently announcing it had made vegan pepsin. Meanwhile, Avant is working on cell-cultured collagen, and Jellatech is also producing both collagen and gelatin using cellular agriculture.
“We had been working on making gelatin in the lab for quite a while, so it was very exciting when we saw that we were able to make gelatins from our full-length type one collagens. We’re all very excited about that,” Michalyn Andrews, Provenance Bio CEO and Co-founder, told Forbes. “When you can break through these barriers, what the impact will be for sustainability is probably the most exciting thing.”