Imagindairy ferments casein and whey, expects launch in two years1 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.
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.
Are new WHO sweeteners guidelines ‘a disservice’ to public health?
6 Sep 2022
New draft recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) warn that zero-calorie sweeteners should not be used to help weight control or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases’ (NCDs) – sparking mixed reactions from industry groups.Read more
Healthier products cannot tackle obesity crisis alone, says expert, as Nestlé discontinues non-HFSS Shreddies
17 Aug 2022
Creating lower-sugar products will “not solve the obesity crisis by itself, especially if these options are so quickly discontinued”, says one expert, as Nestlé withdraws its non-high-fat-high-sugar (HFSS) ‘Shreddies The Simple One’ breakfast cereal af...Read more
Capri Sun adds monk fruit to US juice drinks to reduce sugar by 40%
15 Aug 2022
With parents increasingly focusing on reducing their children’s sugar intake, Kraft Heinz is using monk fruit to cut sugar in US Capri Sun products to deliver on both taste and health credentials.Read more
Activists sue Turkish government for ‘unconstitutional’ banning of vegan cheese
8 Aug 2022
Activists in Turkey have slammed the government’s decision to ban the production and sale of vegan cheese products in the country as unconstitutional, with lawsuits and a 7,200-strong petition under way.Read more
Chickpea revolution? Companies looking to innovate could face higher prices as global shortage hits
5 Aug 2022
From coffee to ice cream, recent product launches demonstrate how companies are betting on chickpea in the plant-based revolution… but could a global shortage scupper innovation?Read more
A switch to alternative proteins could be cheapest and highest impact solution to climate crisis – report
22 Jul 2022
Shifting to alternative proteins could be the “most capital-efficient and high-impact” solution to today’s climate crisis, according to a new report from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which suggests more than 30% of consumers are willing to fully swap...Read more
Oman authorities put food security and sustainability centre stage with ‘transformative’ investments
21 Jul 2022
New technologies and initiatives to promote sustainable food systems, healthy diets and improved food and nutrition security have attracted the backing of authorities in the Gulf country Oman.Read more
French ban on ‘meaty’ descriptions for plant-based products will harm local industry
14 Jul 2022
The new French legislation banning the use of ‘meaty’ terms such as “sausage,” “steak,” and “nuggets” is self-destructive to its own food manufacturing industry, commenters have lamented.Read more
Europe’s plant-based boom: Opportunities for brands
6 Jul 2022
The plant-based alternative sector is rapidly expanding, in Europe and further afield. What are consumers demanding, and where do the opportunities lie for brands?Read more
Harnessing oat hulls to make sustainable sweeteners
30 Jun 2022
Finnish company Fazer is transforming the oat hull side streams from its existing oat mill into the low-calorie sweetener, xylitol.Read more