Perfect Day is an animal-free 'milk' product made using yeast and designed to produce a texture and flavor like cow's milk.
While many people might like the idea of decreasing their environmental impact, switching to animal-free products can be difficult when there are expectations regarding flavor and texture, and we’ve already seen such innovations as an algorithm that finds the right plant proteins that can most effectively substitute for meat products. Along these lines, Perfect Day has developed an animal-free ‘milk’ product designed to taste and feel like cow’s milk.
Perfect Day’s ‘milk’ is made by genetically engineering a strain of yeast that produces milk proteins during fermentation, and then combining these milk proteins (whey and casein) with plant proteins to produce the flavour, texture and nutritional value of milk without having to use cows at all. Its process is vastly more energy efficient than traditional dairy farming practices — a study showed the process required 84 percent less overall energy consumption and 91 percent less land usage. Perfect Day’s production process means it has to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in how to label their product — despite the presence of milk proteins, will it be considered vegan because no animals are involved? Will the ‘milk’ be considered to contain GMOs, given that while genetically modified yeast is used to produce some ingredients, there will be no GMOs present in the product? The company hopes to have these issues resolved ready for a late 2017 roll out, with several products such as chocolate milk, cheeses and desserts in the pipeline. Oh, and the name Perfect Day is from the Lou Reed song that, a study found, cows find soothing and produce more milk when listening to it…
Engineering natural proteins in labs could vastly disrupt the farming industry on a global scale — what other products could we see artificially grown to reduce environmental impacts?