The Perfect Day company is using fungi to make dairy protein that it says is “molecularly identical” to the protein in cow’s milk.
Company co-founder Ryan Pandya said it means that the “milk” can be used to make dairy products such as cheese and yogurt.
“We were interested in the question of what is in milk … that gives it incredible versatility and nutrition that is somehow missing from the plant-based milks,” he said.
Perfect Day has assembled the gene that codes for whey protein in cow’s milk and introduced it into a fungus.
When the fungus is grown in fermentation tanks it produces whey protein which is then filtered and dried into a powder used in products including cheese and ice cream — which are already on the shelves in the United States and Hong Kong.
It’s for “people who still love dairy, but want to feel better about it for themselves, for the planet, and for the animal,” said Pandya.
The process is similar to producing insulin from human genes.