Real Deal Milk swaps big animals for tiny cells in race to shape the future of dairy

SPAIN – Real Deal Milk, an alternative dairy startup, is using precision fermentation to create casein and whey proteins that function the same as conventional dairy ones and aims to offer ingredients that will disrupt the dairy market and provide a meaningful solution to fight climate change.

Its mission is to give alternative dairy products comparable taste and texture qualities elevating the sector to new levels by creating “authentic dairy” with no animals.

The startup draws focus on the environmental and ethical downsides of dairy farming thus taking a different approach to dairy production by using microbes, rather than cows.

This is after a damning report of a study conducted in 2020, revealed between 2015 and 2017 total combined emissions of 13 of the world’s largest dairy corporations rose by 11%.

“Cows are causing a lot of problems, from climate change to deforestation, water use and of course animal suffering. But a new paradigm shift is on the way. It turns out you don’t need cows at all to make milk,”  food-tech entrepreneur Zoltan Toth-Czifra noted.

This century is going to be about cellular agriculture…food is going to get healthier, tastier, and cheaper. Cellular agriculture dairy will beat traditional alternatives everywhere.”

According to Real Deal Milk, Cows are using vast quantities of land and guzzling down a lot of water, both precious resources that could be used far more efficiently contrary to keeping yeast cells alive.

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The yeast cells require far fewer resources than sustaining the life of a 1600-pound animal, so milk-making becomes much more efficient while able to create milk proteins whilst releasing much less CO2 than a cow.

The yeast cells are given the genetic recipe for these proteins and act as mini protein building machines to generate the proteins in a   clean and sustainable way.

The startup is focusing on programming microorganisms and leveraging fermentation technology to be able to recreate milk proteins that are 100% vegan to be used in cheese production.

Having achieved secretion of all six major milk proteins: the four caseins (αS1, αS2, β, and κ) and the two major whey proteins (α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin) rapidly, it is shifting to improving yield and efficiencies.

Furthermore, it is planning on scaling the process and moving from the production of individual proteins to the formation of a multi-protein micelle over the next 18 months.

Real Deal Milk is among the likes of Better Dairy, Formo, Zero Cow Factory, De Novo dairy among others who are on cell-based milk production.

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