Why is this significant?
There’s insufficient resources for the world in 2030 to eat the way countries such as Australia and the US do currently. That means less animals to produce all sorts of commonly available products. The potential replacement of Dairy products using less resources than conventional agriculture is one more step towards an holistic solution to the problem
Perfect Day have partnered with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) to scale up Perfect Day’s fermentation process to make cow free milk proteins, specifically whey. According to Nosh “The company originally planned to produce its own line of branded CPG products; however, earlier this year the leadership team decided to pivot to producing the ingredients that could power other brands’ products.” This may disappoint some, but it makes long term sense in order to drive the technology and rapidly lower production costs. ADM’s contribution is it’s production infrastructure and knowledge of fermentation processes.
The advantage of Perfect Day’s process is that it produces casein and whey proteins that are molecularly identical to those proteins in cows milk. This is achieved by inserting modified cow DNA into yeast using a biotech 3D printer. The yeast then produce whey and casein during fermentation. After fermentation the yeast are filtered out and the dairy proteins recovered.
Whey proteins are an integral ingredient in products including functional foods, bakery, confectionery, dairy, ice cream and more. It was a USD9.4 bn market in 2017 and is projected to reach USD14.5 bn in 2023 so it’s a rapidly growing segment with good profit potential.
Furthermore, according to Food Ingredients 1st “The global market for alternative dairy drinks is expected to reach US$16.3 billion this year alone, according to Innova Market Insights data, a dramatic increase from US$7.4 billion in 2010.” This market is driven by sustainability, animal welfare and environmental concerns and the smaller resource footprint of this type of product fits the bill admirably. So the future market for a non-animal dairy product based on this technology looks more than promising.
The other big advantages for future products are that they can be produced lactose and cholesterol free if required. It’ll be interesting to see how the other alternative “milks” such as almond and soy will fare against an animal free “dairy” alternative.