The Israeli start-up, Imagindairy, is milking new technology to leave the cow out of the dairy equation. The company is creating true milk proteins that are indistinguishable from the real thing via a natural process of precision fermentation
Imagindairy’s proprietary technology recreates nature-identical, animal-free versions of whey and casein proteins that can be used to produce dairy analogs. This opens new opportunities to develop a full range of non-dairy products that perfectly mimic dairy versions yet contain no cholesterol, or GMO’s. They also are lactose-free, serving consumers with lactose intolerance or sensitivity. At the same time, the proprietary technology radically lowers the burden of dairy livestock on the environment.
Eyal Afergan, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy, explained, “Our microflora-based production method was inspired by nature to recreate these proteins.” The unique protein structure of dairy milk is what provides its characteristic texture, flavour, and nutritional value. Whey is a key source of highly biologically available protein. Imagindairy’s animal-free dairy products boast the same complement of nutrients, from protein content to mineral composition, including calcium.
Awarding the full, guilt-free dairy experience
In response to growing awareness of animal welfare and the environmental impact of animal farming, supermarket shelves have become buoyant with alternative plant-based milk and dairy analogs.
Expert teams unite to bring viable, fast-to-market solution
Imagindairy was co-founded by a multidisciplinary team of prominent experts in microbiology, computational systems, and biotechnology with the support of Israel-based The Kitchen FoodTech hub. The team is headed by Dr Arie Abo, PhD, a specialist in protein biochemistry, in collaboration with Tamir Tuller, PhD, a professor at Tel Aviv University, to advance emerging technology to overcome production bottlenecks and create a commercially viable, guilt-free milk product, without forfeiting quality or functionality.
Imagindairy’s unique technology is based on 15 years of research by Tuller, channeling evolutionary genomics for the advancement of high yield protein production. Tamir Tuller, co-founder and CSO, Imagindairy, said, “We developed an advanced protein production platform that allows us to optimise every step in creating milk proteins. This allowed us to achieve the yield that is needed to achieve commercial production.”
Imagindairy’s technology can be readily integrated into existing dairy food production facilities. The start-up already raised US$1.5mn in seed funding, led by The Kitchen FoodTech hub, with contributions from the Israeli Innovative Authority, CPT Capital, New Crop Capital, and Entrée Capital, and will soon enter its A-round funding series.