New GMO Alert: Collagen from Genetically Engineered Microbes – August, 2021

If you’re one who prefers animal-free products, vegan collagen might be up your alley. But if you wish to avoid GMOs, you’ll want to stop and consider how exactly that collagen was made. If it involved synbio, it would fall squarely under the Non-GMO Project Standard’s definition of a GMO product. That’s because synbio is the genetic engineering of microorganisms. Today, we look at how synbio collagen is expanding from skin care products into food and drink.

Geltor Releases Its Newest Synbio Collagen, PrimaColl™
Geltor, a protein design company, has announced the release of its first synbio collagen for the food and beverage industries, PrimaColl™. Synbio, or synthetic biology, is the genetic engineering of microorganisms to produce a novel product, such as collagen.

For “next-generation” food and drink

The company is already in talks with a number of potential food and beverage companies who are interested in the product; and as of June 2021, Geltor was planning to submit its self-determined Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) documents to the FDA.

Some of the possible on-pack names for the ingredient include Collagen (Vegan), Next-Generation Collagen, Concentrated Collagen Peptides, Real Vegan Collagen, or Animal-Free Collagen.

Established in skin care

Since the company’s founding in 2015, Geltor has produced several synbio products, primarily for use in the skin care and cosmetics industries. Collume® was the first product to be released for the skin care industry in 2018. In 2019, the company launched its first human collagen, HumaColl21®, for use in the cosmetics industry. More recently, in April 2020, Geltor launched Elastapure®, which is based on human elastin, also for use in the cosmetics industry.

Reaching the U.S. market

In April 2019, it was announced that Geltor’s HumaColl21® was being used in AHC brand’s Ageless Real Eye Cream for Face. AHC is part of Unilever, making the product widely available in the U.S. In May of this year, the new beauty brand Orora Skin Science announced that it was launching the first skin-care line featuring Geltor’s HumaColl21®. Initial products include a serum and a moisturizer.

Going global

In July 2020, Geltor announced that it had raised $91.3 million in Series B funding, which would be used to further the development of synbio proteins and its global expansion as a custom protein service provider.


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.