The founder of an Australian lab milk company says animal-free dairy with 'near-identical taste and nutritional content' to its traditional counterparts could launch in supermarkets within two years
Lab milk with a ‘near-identical taste and nutritional content’ to its traditional dairy counterpart could be on supermarket shelves as soon as 2024 as an alternative to plant milk, according to the founder of a food tech brand.
Jim Fader, who founded Eden Brew and is its CEO, made the comments during an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald.
He explained that his company has worked out how to emulate how cows ferment milk, instead using a fermentation processes featuring yeast injected with synthetic cow DNA, to formulate an animal-free casein – the ‘building block’ of cow’s milk.
And he has big plans to launch the product worldwide by using the same system as Coca Cola – brewing the key ingredient centrally, before distributing it to producers globally.
He said: “We’re taking it from two- to 10-litre scales to 500,000-litre scale so that we can make it at a cost and scale that makes the whole thing worthwhile.
“We expect that by about 2028 to 2030, we will be at the same retail price to the consumer as dairy milk, mostly because we come down in price but in part because there’s forecast continued inflation in dairy.”
The evolution of animal-free dairy products
Eden Brew is not the only company creating near-identical dairy products, but without the cruelty of farming cows.
Most notably, Silicon Valley startup Perfect Day already sells a range of animal-free dairy products in the US, including dairy-free ice-cream and protein powder.
And the brand looks set to extend its reach further, after recently partnering food giant Nestlé, which says it wants to explore emerging technologies that emulate animal foods, but more sustainably, and without the cruelty.
Heike Steiling, head of Nestlé’s Development Center for dairy products, said: “As the world’s largest food and beverage company, delivering foods and beverages that are good for people and the planet is a priority.
“We are exploring emerging technologies that can lead to animal-friendly alternatives that are nutritious and sustainable, without compromising on taste, flavour, and texture.
“Bringing together our unmatched R&D expertise, innovation capabilities and scale, we are working to develop and test novel animal-free dairy protein-based products to complement our wide-ranging portfolio of plant-based alternatives.”
A Perfect Day spokesperson said: “It’s extremely exciting to be working with the largest food and beverage company in the world.”
While you’re waiting for high-tech fermented animal-free dairy to hit shelves, why not try making something a bit more tradition at home? Check out how to make vegan cashew nut milk yourself.
Featured image: Mizina via Getty Images