With dark chocolate chunks and peanut butter swirls, Coolhaus ice cream looks like an indulgent treat, except it contains no cow’s milk. Instead, American ice cream is made from animal-free dairy products developed by scientists.
Launched in Singapore in July, Coolhaus is produced by Perfect Day, a California-based consumer biology company that makes dairy and animal-free products such as cream cheese, milk and ice cream. In 2020, Perfect Day produced the world’s first animal-free whey protein through precision fermentation. In this process, genetically modified microorganisms are used to produce specific products, including whey proteins, rennet in cheese, and enzymes and flavoring agents in food products.
A digital copy of the whey protein genetic sequence, similar to that of cows, is mixed with microflora, sugars, vitamins and minerals in a fermentation tank. After the mixture is metabolized, whey protein is produced, then filtered and dried into a pure protein powder that can be processed into various food products.
Molecularly identical to cow’s protein, whey protein has the same nutritional value and its products provide a rich, creamy mouthfeel. Perfect Day supplies its protein powder to food manufacturers producing animal-free dairy products. Earlier this year, it collaborated with confectionery giant Mars to produce its first animal-free chocolate bar, and it recently announced a tie-up with food conglomerate Nestlé to pilot animal-free milk. Over the past year, Perfect Day has increased its protein powder production by 500% due to growing demand, according to spokeswoman Anne Gerow.
In addition to being a food supplier, Perfect Day also operates four consumer food brands, including Coolhaus and the California Performance Co. brand of whey protein powder, which are available here.
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