Imagindairy ferments casein and whey, expects launch in two years

1 Jul 2021

Israeli startup Imagindairy is aiming to take cows out of the dairy equation entirely with its animal-free casein and whey proteins that it has developed over the course of 15 years of research. The company says that its proprietary fermentation technology creates analogous dairy proteins that have the flavor, texture and functionality of their animal counterparts.

Within three to five days, Imagindairy takes yeast and converts it through precision fermentation into a protein that is “indistinguishable” from cow-based options except for the fact that it is non-dairy and lactose-free. It also has no cholesterol, GMOs, and a minimal impact on the environment.

Imagindairy ferments casein and whey, expects launch in two years
Image via Ian Dooley on Unsplash

Consumers continue to seek out products that are better for the environment than options that have long been available on supermarket shelves. This means that animal dairy has progressively been pushed aside in favor of plant-based options such as almond and oat milk, both of which categories grew enormously in 2020. Sales of oat milk reached $213.35 million in the 52 weeks before Sept. 6, 2020, up 350.8% from 2019, according to SPINS data. Almond milk, the largest plant-based milk variety in terms of market share, brought in $1.497 billion in that same 52-week period.

However, there are hidden costs associated with these alternatives. Pesticide exposure from growing mass quantities of almonds and oats has damaged the environment and has even been shown to be detrimental to bee colonies that are sent to winter in California almond groves, The BBC reported.

Imaginedairy hopes to alleviate some of these environmental costs through its engineered proteins. “I look forward to being able to give my kids such treats as a cup of nutritious, tasty milk or creamy yogurt without the hard impact on animals or on the environment they must inherit,” Imagindairy CEO Eyal Afergan said in a statement.

To take its research out of the lab and provide consumers with the opportunity to try products made with its whey and casein proteins, the company said that it will begin commercialization with a B2B strategy. It expects its first proteins will become available in two years to food brands that will then be able to begin incorporating them into their formulations.

On its path to disruption, Imagindairy will need funding. Already, the Israeli startup raised $1.5 million in seed funding in a round led by The Kitchen FoodTech hub, with contributions from the Israeli Innovative Authority, CPT Capital, New Crop Capital, and Entrée Capital. However, in its release, the company noted that it will soon enter its Series A funding round.

Related news

Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

Animal-free dairy cheese appeals to over half of global consumers

20 Jul 2021

Globally, 70.5% of consumers said they would be willing to buy cheese made with dairy proteins that don’t come from animals, according to a new survey from the precision fermentation company Formo and the University of Bath published in the journal Fro...

Read more 
Provenance Bio's plant-based gelatin beats animal based options on price

Provenance Bio's plant-based gelatin beats animal based options on price

12 Jul 2021

To answer the growing demand for animal-free collagen, San Francisco-based startup Provenance Bio, unveiled its first animal-free gelatin product made with its proprietary protein expression platform. The company said that the proteins it produces for ...

Read more 
PepsiCo doubles down on nonalcoholic cocktail mixers with Unmuddled

PepsiCo doubles down on nonalcoholic cocktail mixers with Unmuddled

8 Jul 2021

Legacy soda manufacturer PepsiCo is moving deeper into the non-alcoholic cocktail space with the announcement that it will debut a line of premium mixers called Unmuddled. The product line will be available beginning in September at Fresh Thyme and on ...

Read more 
The Protein Brewery inaugurates pilot plant, begins producing Fermotein

The Protein Brewery inaugurates pilot plant, begins producing Fermotein

2 Jul 2021

The Protein Brewery, a microbial fermentation startup from the Netherlands, announced that it has both completed the construction of its first commercial production plant in Breda, Netherlands and that it has delivered the inaugural samples of its food...

Read more 
OmniFoods splashes into seafood with new launch

OmniFoods splashes into seafood with new launch

23 Jun 2021

Asia’s plant-based protein titan OmniFoods is now stretching its portfolio to hook more customers with the launch of its first seafood analogs. The company will expand from land-based protein to sea-based protein with its new OmniSeafood line where it ...

Read more 
Chromologics addresses natural colors challenges with precision fermentation

Chromologics addresses natural colors challenges with precision fermentation

18 Jun 2021

Danish food coloring technology company, Chromologics is developing a platform to address the lack of variety in the high-performance, animal-free, sustainable food colorings market. Its first foray into the space is with the color red, and the company...

Read more 
Akua launches burger made from regenerative kelp

Akua launches burger made from regenerative kelp

14 Jun 2021

In a bid to take a slice of the plant-based burger market, New York-based Akua launched a burger made from kelp. This ocean-farmed seaweed burger also contains crimini mushrooms, pea protein, black beans, quinoa, and crushed tomatoes.

Read more 
Icelandic Provisions dips into oat milk with new skyr product

Icelandic Provisions dips into oat milk with new skyr product

11 Jun 2021

American dairy company Icelandic Provisions launched its first plant-based product, Oatmilk Skyr. When the product rolls out across the U.S. at Whole Foods Market locations, the company says that it will become the first oat milk skyr on the market.

Read more 
Unilever adds mycoprotein to its portfolio through partnership

Unilever adds mycoprotein to its portfolio through partnership

7 Jun 2021

Multinational Unilever has partnered with food tech company Enough to incorporate the startup’s mycoprotein Abunda into its plant-based products portfolio. Enough’s mycoprotein is made using fermentation to create a biomass that the company says uses a...

Read more 
Nestlé’s Sweet Earth moves into snacking aisle with plant-based jerky

Nestlé’s Sweet Earth moves into snacking aisle with plant-based jerky

2 Jun 2021

Nestlé-owned Sweet Earth Foods has a new plant-based jerky on supermarket shelves that come in two flavors: Spicy Kung Pao Jerky and Sweet Korean BBQ. While the Kung Pao flavor is now on sale, the company announced that the Sweet Korean variety will be...

Read more