Auckland-based precision fermentation start-up Daisy Lab recently hosted an invite-only tasting to showcase their prototype consumer products.

Among the most notable products on display was a high protein soy milk base ice-cream made in collaboration with world-renowned ice-cream maker Gianpaolo Grazioli. The event also featured various vegan cheeses along with a coconut-based vanilla yoghurt that Daisy Lab claims matches the protein content of a dairy counterpart.

Precision fermentation is a process that utilises microorganisms to create proteins identical to those naturally found in an array of food materials, such as in cows’ milk. 

Precision fermentation start-up Daisy Lab recently hosted an invite-only event to showcase their prototype consumer products.

Daisy Lab said the organisers and their collaborators focused on ensuring that the additional protein did not significantly alter the taste of the products, which all received positive feedback from attendees. Participants expressed satisfaction with the overall level of taste acceptance, emphasising the importance of maintaining the traditional flavours, mouthfeel, and nutritional value of dairy products.

All the prototype products were made using beta-lactoglobulin – the most common protein in cow’s whey. Daisy Lab said the tasting event served as a celebration of its achievement in producing powdered whey protein on a lab-scale within a little over a year. 

The startup said it is aiming to develop commercial-scale dairy identical proteins for the global market. To achieve this, it plans to build a pilot plant and establish partnerships with food producers who share the firm’s global ambitions. It said it is also working on other dairy proteins, including high-value and rare lactoferrin.

“We are one of a handful of startups globally in this space,” said Daisy Lab Founder, Irina Miller. “We are excited by the possibilities precision fermentation represents for the future of dairy.”

Miller also acknowledged the “crucial support” the firm has received from the New Zealand’s dairy ecosystem, start-up ecosystem, and advisers – from molecular biology and downstream processing to branding and marketing advice.

Miller added that Daisy Lab had recently partnered with the University of Auckland to conduct its own research into greenhouse gas emissions reduction. 

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