In an industry-shifting development, New Zealand's Daisy Lab has reached a pivotal milestone in dairy production. This Auckland based precision fermentation biotech company has successfully up-scaled production of animal-identical whey proteins using 10 L fermenters, signaling a potential end to traditional large-scale dairy farming.
Daisy Lab's recent achievement lies in establishing a complete production process to create a high-quality whey protein powder.
Source: Daisy Lab Co-Founders Nikki Freed (left), & CEO, Irina Miller & Emily McIsaac
The company's founder and CEO, Irina Miller, envisions this breakthrough as a stepping stone towards transforming on-farm production. "The system can be scaled for on-farm production. It is technically feasible," says Irina Miller. This innovation could revolutionise New Zealand's dairy sector, replacing large milking herds with bioreactors and allowing dairy farmers to pivot towards bio-production.
The approach leverages the age-old method of fermentation, a process integral to producing staples like bread, cheese, beer, and wine. Precision fermentation, a more advanced iteration, involves training microorganisms to produce various products, including proteins. This method mirrors the upstream processes used in brewing beer or wine, while the downstream mimics traditional dairy processing.
This shift has significant implications for New Zealand's agricultural landscape. With almost half of the country's emissions stemming from animal agriculture, including the dairy industry, transitioning to bioreactor-based production presents an environmentally sustainable alternative. Not only does this method reduce the ecological footprint, but it also opens new avenues for land use, such as cultivating plant proteins.
Source: PFN Ai Prompt - On Farm Precision Fermentation Bioreactor
Daisy Lab is now gearing up to expand its proof of concept into a viable commercial models. The company plans to seek funding this year, aiming to scale up operations and further solidify its position at the forefront of dairy industry innovation.
This transition from traditional dairy farming to precision fermentation marks a new era in agricultural technology, offering a sustainable and efficient way to produce dairy products, keeping pace with evolving consumer demands and environmental concerns.
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