Israeli start-up develops animal-free milk proteins

Imagindairy’s technology utilizes microflora to create whey and casein proteins as start-up prepares to enter its Series A funding round
Imagindairy’s technology has developed animal-free milk proteins
Source: Imagindairy

Israeli start-up Imagindairy has developed a new technology to create milk proteins whey and casein via synthetic biology.

According to its website, Imagindairy’s proprietary computational technology has been produced to increase the expression of milk proteins in microflora.

The technology is based on 15 years of research by the company’s co-founder Tamir Tuller PhD, a professor at Tel Aviv University.

Its first applications lab was built in the home kitchen of one of the company’s employees during the Covid-19 lockdown last year.

The start-up recently raised $1.5m in seed funding, led by Israeli incubator The Kitchen FoodTech Hub, and will soon enter its Series A funding round.

Other investors include the Israeli Innovative Authority, CPT Capital, New Crop Capital and Entrée Capital.

Eyal Afergan, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy, said: “The unique protein structure of dairy milk is what provides its characteristic texture, flavour and nutritional value. Whey is a key source of highly biologically available protein.

“Imagindairy’s animal-free dairy products boast the same complement of nutrients, from protein content to mineral composition, including calcium,” he added.

The company’s technology is primed for dairy-alternative products that mimic dairy, but without the added cholesterol, lactose or GMOs.

“Our vision was to deliver an animal-free version of the primary dairy proteins — whey and casein — that can allow product makers to match real dairy products in terms of protein concentration, nutrient profile and the full sensory experiences of the animal-derived versions,” Afergan said.