A biotech company is using bioengineering microbes and precision fermentation to create animal-free protein and dairy
Spotted: The dairy industry’s carbon footprint is huge, producing far more emissions than the manufacturing of plant-based alternatives. Though the impact of dairy products is increasingly recognised, many are put off switching to vegan replacements because of the taste. Now, Zero Cow Factory is producing India’s first animal-free dairy that replicates the taste, texture, nutrient profile, and appearance of cow’s milk protein.
The company has developed a patented technology that uses bioengineering of microbes and precision fermentation to produce dairy proteins, such as casein and whey, without any animals. Zero Cow Factory’s method is far more environmentally friendly than traditional dairy production, requiring 99 per cent less land and 98 per cent less water, emitting 84 per cent less CO2, and consuming 65 per cent less energy.
Zero Cow’s first product is an A2 Beta-casein – a protein found in normal dairy products, along with A1 Beta-casein, the protein in dairy products that is believed to have links with diabetes, heart disease, and digestive issues. By only using A2, Zero Cow’s ‘Smart Protein’ is a healthier alternative to cow’s milk, and contains no antibiotics, growth hormones, cholesterol, or saturated fat. The protein is also free from lactose, making it suitable for lactose-intolerant individuals who still enjoy the taste of traditional dairy products.
Zero Cow Factory hopes to be the first company to get global regulatory approval for this kind of protein and recently secured $4 million (around €3.6 million) in seed funding. The investment will be used to speed up research and development (R&D) efforts and accelerate construction of the company’s pilot facility in Gujarat to get ready for commercial production.
There are many innovations producing dairy-free alternatives, aimed at solving environmental and health issues. Springwise has spotted a countertop device that brews plant-based milk and a cow-free milk made using yeast.
Written By: Anam Alam