Farming News - Silicon Valley creameries? Perfect Day for a milk alternative

Silicon Valley creameries? Perfect Day for a milk alternative

21 Sep 2016
Frontdesk / Livestock

With milk alternatives growing rapidly in popularity, a Silicon Valley start up is attempting to create milk products in a lab, that are both vegan and - well - milk, by synthesising milk from yeast, without input from any cows.

Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi, the brains behind Perfect Day, aim to launch their lab-based dairy products in late 2017 and claim these will require 98% less water, over 60% less energy and 91% less land to produce than milk from dairy cows.  

The pair claim their milk uses ‘dairy yeast’ and sugar in a fermentation process “Similar to craft brewing”, producing casein to which plant-based sugars, fats and minerals are added. They claim that the product, which has received over $4m in funding, is safer, more nutritious and greener than conventionally produced milk, and can be used to make dairy products from ice-cream to cheeses, though they are still perfecting their recipes.  

The founders of Perfect Day were intrigued by similar forays into ‘cultured meat’ grown in labs from animal tissue. They met at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where they decided to apply their understanding of medical technology to food production.

Based in Berkely, California, the company is still seeking more funding and testing its products. The founders this week told American news outlet CNBC that the dairy industry has actually been very receptive to the product, and disclosed that they are in talks with three major dairy companies.