The first molecular farming dairy startup in the Asia-Pacific region turns plant crop cells into dairy proteins
Spotted: By the end of this year or next, you could be eating a protein-packed breakfast quite unlike anything else on your menu! A New Zealand-based food tech startup—called Miruku—has just secured $2.4 million (around €2.16 million) in funding to bring itsinnovative product line into commercialisation. Investors include Better Bite Ventures, Ahimsa Investments, and The Aspire Fund.
Miruku was founded in 2020 by Amos Palfreyman, Ira Bing, Harjinder Singh, and Oded Shoseyov – a group of experienced scientists with backgrounds in dairy and plant science. The group came together to create an innovative alternative protein technology.
What Miruku has developed is a method of creating dairy proteins from plant cells. The process leverages molecular farming to program plant cells to produce proteins and molecules like those made by animals – such as fats and sugars. The products are currently being developed at the company’s laboratories, with the startup planning to expand internationally through collaborations with corporate partners and R&D teams.
Miruku’s ultimate goal is to provide a delicious and sustainable alternative to traditional dairy products – a market that is quickly gaining popularity among those who are looking for a healthier, greener option.
The company’s approach is different from other brands because it uses plant crops to turn their cells into dairy proteins, rather than the other techniques currently in use – such as precision fermentation and modifying animal cells outside of the animal itself.
With such rapid progress already being made and prototypes ready sooner than expected, it’s likely that we’ll see Miruku partnering up with growers, formulators, and brands – perhaps even as early as 2023.
Other recent animal-free innovations spotted by Springwise include alternative fats produced through precisions fermentation, an environmentally sustainable alternative to egg whites, and cultured meat that could be in supermarkets by 2023.
Written By: Katrina Lane