New GMO Alert: Animal-Free Dairy Products to Watch Out For

Recently, animal-free dairy proteins have entered the marketplace as ingredients in a variety of food products, including milk, ice cream, and cake mix. To date, these products have featured Perfect Day’s synbio animal-free whey proteins. However, Perfect Day is not the only company developing these synbio proteins, which are produced using genetically modified microorganisms in a process often referred to as precision fermentation. It’s important to note that all products of new genetic engineering techniques, including synbio (aka precision fermentation), are defined as GMOs by the Project’s Standard.

According to a recent report by the Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return (FAIRR) Initiative, fermentation startups raked in more than $1.4B in 2021. So, further growth and expansion in the marketplace is anticipated. Below is a brief round-up of some of the other companies that are actively pursuing the development of synbio animal-free dairy proteins.

Imagindairy, an Israeli precision fermentation company, is using its proprietary synthetic biology platform to produce animal-free milk proteins. Imagindairy completed a $13M seed funding round in 2021 and then recently brought in an additional $15M in an extended seed round, for a total of $28M. The company expects to launch its animal-free milk proteins by 2023, focusing on the B2B market, with the help of strategic collaborations.

New Culture is developing animal-free dairy proteins – specifically casein proteins – in order to create animal-free cheese. In late 2021, the company raised $25M in a Series A funding round. New Culture’s goal is to release its first product, mozzarella, in select pizzerias in 2022, with wider distribution in 2023. The company has reportedly established a number of partnerships with unnamed entities to help streamline the entry of its products into the marketplace.

Change Foods is also focusing on animal-free casein, the dairy protein that provides the melting properties of cheese, as well as inputs such as lipids and aromatic compounds. The company recently completed an extended seed funding round, securing $12M, bringing their total funding to $15.3M. Change Foods is exploring the potential for partnerships in the retail and food service industries. The company plans to launch its first product in 2023.

Formo (formerly known as Legendairy Foods) is also using precision fermentation to create animal-free dairy proteins. Located in Berlin, Germany, the company is touted as being Europe’s first developer of animal-free dairy products. In the fall of 2021, Formo closed a Series A funding round that raised $50M, which was identified as a record for a European food technology company. The money is earmarked for the construction of a pilot plant and the fast-tracking of commercial production. The focus of the company is on cheese.

Remilk, another Israeli developer of synbio animal-free dairy proteins, is building what has been referred to as the world’s largest full-scale precision fermentation facility. The announcement followed the close of the company’s recent $120M Series B Funding round. The facility will be located in Kalundborg, Denmark; and Remilk anticipates that when the 750,000-sq-ft facility is completed, it will generate dairy proteins equivalent to the amount produced by 500 dairy cows. A target product release date has not been announced.

 

The Non-GMO Project’s Standard defines all crops and products developed using biotechnology, including new gene-editing techniques, as GMOs. We share this information to further one of the Project’s primary goals of creating greater transparency in the supply chain, ensuring you have the information you need to make the best choices for you, your brand, and your family. 

Please note that the information herein is for general informational purposes only and is based on the linked sources above.