‘Microorganisms are terrible at multitasking, but they know how to do one thing at a time with extreme efficiency’

On a high level when we think about cows as production vessels, they have many, many tasks in life that are separate to creating milk proteins,” ​head of business development Jason Rosenberg explained.

“Cows have to grow, they have to reproduce, they have to walk, they have to eat, they have to build muscle tissue, fat tissue and also create a little bit of milk.

“One of the things we love about microorganisms​ [which Remilk and others in the emerging ‘animal-free’ arena are programming to produce dairy proteins such as beta-lactoglobulin, alpha lactalbumin, and all four casein proteins] is how inefficient they are at multitasking, which is essentially why they’re really good at single tasking, so they know how to do one thing at a time with extreme efficiency and convert one source of energy into one targeted molecule ​[such as individual dairy proteins].”

Capacity challenges in precision fermentation

 Asked about the well-publicized capacity challenges in precision fermentation – whereby firms are deploying synthetic biology to engineer microbes such as fungi, yeast and bacteria to express everything from growth factors for cell-cultured meat to colors, flavors, sweeteners and ‘animal-free’ collagen, whey, and egg albumin – Rosenberg said: “This is one of the one of the primary challenges that we as an industry need to overcome.

“We’re in the process of converting a technology of precision fermentation, which has been used for decades in other industries, primarily for pharmaceuticals or enzymes, and these are notoriously high value low volume products, at least in comparison to food products… which are low value and high volume.

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