Don’t you have a cow? Perfect Day Life Cycle Assessment Highlights Sustainability Benefits of Animal-Free Dairy Protein


Life cycle assessment(LCA) – conducted by consultancy firm WSP USA and critically reviewed by a panel of independent experts in accordance with the ISO 14067 GHG emissions standard – showed that Perfect Day’s production of non-animal whey protein Reduces blue water consumption by 96-99%, and non-renewable energy use by 29-60% compared to conventional production methods.

The assessment extends the scope of the company’s LCA shared in april, Which has shown that its animal-free whey generates 62 to 97% less greenhouse gas emissions than cow’s whey.

While the figure at the top of the scale assumes that there is a market for the nutrient-rich co-product of the fermentation process, which accounts for a significant percentage (78.3%) of biomass on a dry weight basis, the gap in GHG emissions between fermentation and animal production remain significant even if this by-product ends up as waste, according to the ACV.

“The co-product is rich in proteins and other components (eg vitamins, minerals) that make it valuable for pet food, and it will be sold in this market. The co-product is dried using ‘a natural gas dryer before it was sold. “

The primary driver of GHG emissions for Perfect Day Whey Protein is utilities (natural gas and electricity), which contribute 40% of total GHG emissions. After utilities, the protein development phase – due to the production of glucose via starch hydrolysis – contributes 25% of total GHG emissions.

How is animal-free whey protein made?

Rather than raising farm animals, “precision fermentation” companies like Perfect Day use DNA sequences that work like strings of computer code to order host microorganisms (fungi, yeasts) bacteria, etc.) to produce specific animal proteins when fed with sugars and other nutrients in large fermentation tanks, a technology that has been used in the food industry for years to produce everything from beta-carotene to vitamin B2.

Perfect Day’s non-animal whey protein – now featured in ice cream brands such as Brave Robot, Nick’s and Graeter’s, with more prestigious launches underway – is produced via a strain of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reeseiAnd is identical to commercially available bovine β-lactoglobulin.

While corn is the current source of dextrose as a raw material, the sugar intake could come from various sources (sugar beet, sugar cane or recycled cellulosic raw materials).

The fermentation medium includes a variety of salts, trace metals and a carbon source (glucose) and is fermented in 40,000 gallon silos. Amino acids are made up of oxygen (bubbled through the fermentation tank), nitrogen (supplied as ammonium salts) and carbon (using dextrose, DE-95).

Whey protein is secreted into the fermentation broth, concentrated by ultrafiltration / diafiltration and spray dried, a process that uses a certain amount of water, energy, soil and other inputs, but has nothing close to the environmental footprint of whey of animal origin, claims the company.

Ice creams, cheeses, yogurts, creams, milk …

Perfect Day talks to a wide variety of partners, from startups to multinationals looking to develop a line of products using its non-animal whey protein.

Speaking to us earlier this year, co-founder Ryan Pandya said that while ice cream is a great place to start, “The really exciting things are yet to come in terms of cheese and yoghurt…

“There are also more features to be gained from the milk and cream side than I thought a few years ago, because if you are trying to create a cappuccino and want a strong, stable froth, you can’t not really doing it with plant based milk and in fact we heard that from one of the biggest coffee companies in the world. And they are looking for that, they want it as a solution, which we can do. I was blown away by the performance of our protein in this app.

Life cycle assessment

The life cycle analysis focused on the upstream production of materials used for the Perfect Day process, such as grain corn for sugar production; the production of all other process inputs (for example, natural gas and electricity); and transportation of materials to the Perfect Day production plant. The production of Perfect Day whey protein also results in a solid biomass co-product that can be sold as an ingredient in
high value pet food; therefore, a mass allocation was applied to distribute the environmental impacts between the
primary product and co-product (since the economic value of the co-product is unknown).

Image credit: GettyImages-Artis777

Precision fermentation

While the production of plant-based protein has increased dramatically, it does not always provide the taste, nutrition and functionality of animal proteins, especially in formulations such as cheese and ice cream, prompting Perfect Day and others in the ‘precision fermentation’ space to explore new ways to produce whey, casein, egg albumin, collagen, pepsin and other highly functional proteins without agriculture industrialized animal, which they say raises ethical and environmental concerns.


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