New Zealand dairy giant, Fonterra, has announced it will develop a new start-up company with Royal DSM, a global health and nutrition brand, to further develop patented precision fermentation technology.

The two companies have been working together since 2019 to build a comprehensive understanding of how to use precision fermentation to produce proteins similar to those found in dairy.

Fonterra’s Chief Innovation and Brand Officer, Komal Mistry-Mehta, said it “is an exciting opportunity to combine DSM’s world-leading expertise in precision fermentation science and technology with Fonterra’s world-leading dairy science and technology. With fermentation-produced proteins having a wide array of potential applications for customers and consumers, this partnership aligns well with the Co-op’s strategy to be a leader in dairy innovation and science.”

The new start-up company will enable the acceleration of commercial product solutions utilising the intellectual property developed by Royal DSM and Fonterra, while continuing to focus on further precision fermentation research and development.

“Dairy nutrition will always be our core strength, now and into the future, and there will continue to be strong demand for our sustainable, pasture-based dairy. At the same time, we are conscious that preferences of some consumers are evolving, and we believe proteins produced with emerging technologies can work alongside our dairy products,” said Mistry-Mehta.

“With continued population growth, there will be a role for both dairy and other sources of nutrition in feeding the world’s population – they offer choice and they are complementary.”

Royal DSM are working with the New Zealand dairy industry to reduce methane emissions. iStock.

The two companies are also collaborating to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by exploring applications for DSM’s methane-inhibiting Bovaer® technology in the New Zealand pasture-based farming system.

The announcement comes on the back of a similar collaboration between Australia’s Eden Brew and traditional dairy co-operative Norco, underlining the opportunity for traditional dairy operators to capitalise on the potential of precision fermentation technology. You can listen to our podcast with Eden Brew CEO Jim Fader below.

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