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ImaginDairy: Creating a wide range of dairy products without cows by using mushrooms.

Updated: Oct 27, 2023

Imagindairy has developed a groundbreaking approach to dairy production, creating a wide range of dairy products without cows by using fungi.

There are two major proteins in milk – whey and casein. These proteins are present in every single milk-based food. Casein makes up about 80 percent of the protein in bovine milk, and whey about 20 percent.

Using a process called precision fermentation, ImaginDairy has recreated these proteins in the lab in order to generate every kind of dairy product. And according to the company, the taste is identical to the original.

They use freely available DNA codes for milk proteins, bioengineering mushrooms to produce these proteins via precision fermentation. This unique application modifies the mushroom's DNA to generate milk proteins. Fungi, in this case ascomycetes, are chosen due to their rapid growth, ease of cultivation, and sustainability.

Once the mushrooms produce the required milk proteins, ImaginDairy combines them with plant-based fats and other ingredients to create products like milk, cheese, and ice cream.

🌱 ImaginDairy's innovation offers numerous advantages. Their process is significantly more environmentally friendly, using over 90% less water, producing 97% fewer carbon emissions, and requiring only 1% of the land compared to traditional dairy farming.

Moreover, it eliminates methane emissions associated with cow digestion, a major contributor to global warming. These lab-developed dairy products retain the nutritional benefits of milk but are lactose-free, cholesterol-free, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and suitable for vegans.

Co-funded by Eyal Afergan, Ph.D, Arie Abo and Tamir Tuller, the startup has garnered significant attention and investment, with Danone Group backing their mission to revolutionize the dairy industry.

While currently targeting the United States, ImaginDairy's innovative technology has the potential to transform the way we produce and consume dairy products worldwide.

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Photo credits: Ofir Berman / Imagindairy







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