Image courtesy of Perfect Day
Global food giant Nestlé is teaming up with California-based Perfect Day to develop a line of animal-free dairy products.
Established in 2014, Perfect Day uses precision fermentation to create proteins which are bioidentical to that found in cow’s milk.
These proteins therefore offer the same nutritional value as their dairy counterparts, and because there are no animals involved in the process, the company says they are suitable for vegans as well as lactose allergy sufferers.
According to Nestlé, the partnership between the two companies complements other investments it has made in the plant-based meat and dairy space in recent years – moves which the company says is a response to people’s changing diets.
The animal-free dairy product was developed by Nestlé’s R&D team in Switzerland, however it will now be piloted by the conglomerate’s new R&D Accelerator in the US.
With the type of resources available to accelerator, it can bring concepts to market within six months. Perfect Day’s proteins have Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS) status in the US, however, it is important to note the product may have to pass novel food testing elsewhere, which could slow its introduction to other markets.
Heike Steiling, Head of Nestlé’s Development Centre for Dairy Products: “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.”
Joanna Yarbrough, Head of the R&D Accelerator, added: “We are excited to pilot Nestlé’s first animal-free dairy protein-based products through our US R&D Accelerator.
“While this category is still very young, we know consumers are looking for products that have a reduced environmental footprint, and we are evaluating this avenue as a future growth opportunity for our business.”
Beyond Nestlé, Perfect Day has partnered with several other major players in the food industry to create ultra-realistic dairy-free products.
Earlier in 2022, Mars introduced its animal- and lactose-free chocolate bar CO2COA to market, which contains proteins developed by the company.
This year has also seen the continued partnership of Perfect Day and online retailer Myprotein. The two companies have collaborated to develop animal-free whey powder for athletes.
These partnerships, and the myriad others Perfect Day is involved in, has helped the company secured more than $750 million (around £649M) in funding since its establishment – including high-profile investments from the likes of Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Walt Disney Company Chairman Robert Iger.
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