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  • Writer's picturePhoebe Fraser

Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks partner to accelerate cow-free dairy proteins

Israeli animal-free dairy protein developer Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks have announced a new partnership designed to accelerate the introduction of a new wave of cow-free dairy.

The multiyear programme – which aims to commercialise Imagindairy’s non-whey proteins – is partly funded with a joint grant from the Board of Governors of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

The collaboration will leverage Ginkgo’s protein expression services and Imagindairy’s process development and scale-up expertise to manufacture animal-free non-whey to reach prices similar to conventional dairy proteins.

Jennifer Wipf, chief commercial officer at Ginkgo, said: “We’re thrilled to get to work with Imagindairy on this innovative and market relevant project. We’re also honoured to be recognised by the BIRD Foundation. Being awarded this highly competitive grant is a testament to our technical expertise and ability to accomplish this project with Imagindairy. I can speak for the entire team when I say that the samples that Imagindairy have shared are absolutely next-level. If the rest of their pipeline is anything like what we’ve tasted, we can’t wait to try what’s next.”

Eyal Afergan, co-founder and CEO at Imagindairy, added: “We’re proud of this acknowledgment by the BIRD Foundation, as it highlights the importance of further innovation in the alternative proteins field, and our capability to successfully execute this project. Our process development capabilities and industrial-scale precision fermentation lines will allow us to rapidly scale the optimised strains created with Ginkgo and bring innovative non-whey proteins to the market faster.”

He concluded: “We’re deeply impressed by Ginkgo’s work in the food-tech industry...We’re confident this collaboration will unlock further product offerings, providing consumers with additional animal-free dairy delights that match the cost and taste of traditional dairy, making significant contributions to the industry, consumers, and the world.”

This week Ginkgo also announced that it is working with Chicago-based alt-seafood producer Aqua Cultured Foods to improve the economics and functions of its microbial strains for alt-seafood production.


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