Geltor introduces a cultured vegan collagen

28 Jun 2021

California-based cultured protein startup Geltor announced that it will release what it describes as the world’s first vegan collagen product, PrimaColl. This animal-free collagen will be available in mid-2021.

Geltor has developed its vegan collagen product using microbial fermentation platform to create functional proteins that are equivalent to those derived from animal sources. However, although Geltor says its product is comparable to animal-derived collagen, it provides a higher potency of compounds allowing manufacturers to use a lesser volume in their applications. Furthermore, the vegan collagen will not affect solubility in formulations as is the case with animal-derived collagen.

Geltor introduces a cultured vegan collagen
Courtesy of Geltor

PrimaColl will cater to an expanding customer base that is interested in plant-based alternatives to traditional ingredients. While this trend has been growing for some time, collagen is an ingredient for which a convincing substitution has remained elusive.

Collagen is one of those many additives that is derived from animal tissue – particularly pigs as collagen is often used in the form of gelatin – that has proven difficult to replicate with vegan versions. Although seaweed-based solutions such as agar agar and carrageenan are widely available, these aquatic substitutions for collagen have compositions that have been known to make substitutions difficult both from a chemical reaction and a gastrointestinal perspective.

Geltor's animal-free collagen not only positions itself to cater to plant-based consumers, but it is also suitable for kosher, halal and paleo diets. Couple the suitability of this ingredient with the functional formulation properties and there is a wide opportunity for this ingredient to garner widespread acceptance. However, not only is Geltor’s cultured collagen functional for manufacturers, but the company’s choice to biodesign this ingredient to match Type 21 collagen makes PrimaColl a desireable functional ingredient for the human body.

Type 21 collagen is a protein found in the human body that amplifies the efficacy of other collagens to boost their performance. “Like most collagens, natural production of Type XXI decreases into adulthood,” said Geltor co-founder and cheif technology officer Nick Ouzounov in a release. “The functional collagen core of Type XXI was selected in the biodesign of PrimaColl due to its important role in interacting with other collagen types, and signaling activity for additional collagen production.”

While this new product is the company’s initial foray into edible vegan collagen, it is not the first time that the startup has developed vegan collagen. In fact, Geltor has provided plant-based collagen for use in personal care and cosmetics since the inception of the company. Clearly, the startup has seen significant success from the development of this ingredient since it has now expanded into the food and beverage space using the $91.3 million it raised in its Series B round last July.

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