Perfect Day might be a food company you have never heard of, but you will. They are part of a movement we have been talking about: Cellular Agriculture.
These companies fall under the category of cellular agriculture that use genetically engineered yeasts that have been ‘programmed’ to produce proteins and other ingredients found in plants or animals on an industrial scale, without harming any animals, and with considerably less impact on the environment.
In an interview with FoodNavigator-USA Perfect Day’s co-founder and CEO Ryan Pandya said “We want to make a goldilocks product that has all the nutritional benefits of cow’s milk but none of the compromises.”
What does that mean? Animal-free milk. According to Food Navigator, unlike plant based milks, like soy or almond, the process adds DNA sequences (which can be 3D printed using synthetic biology techniques) which effectively instruct that yeast to produce the proteins found in milk – predominantly casein and the two proteins that form the bulk of whey protein in milk. It then throws them into big fermentation tanks with corn sugar and other nutrients to feed on.
When the microbes are complete, the proteins are harvested via a mechanical process and added to water, minerals, and plant-based fats and sugars to make dairy milk.
We haven’t tasted the milk, but the company says Perfect Day will have the taste, functionality and nutrition of dairy milk – which means it can be used in everything from cheese and yogurts to ice creams that taste exactly the same as the animal-based versions.
Their first product will be milk and they expect it to cost the same as organic milk at retail initially, but they hope to “eventually be at a lower cost than cow’s milk”.