Animal-free dairy? How is that even possible?
Picture this: You’re at the café ordering for yourself and your friends. “I’ll have a lactose-free flat white, an almond milk latte, a soy cappuccino and a macchiato with a dash of oat milk,” you say. The barista sighs inwardly.
Fortunately, it’s going to get a lot easier to order coffees that meet your friends’ preferences. All you’ll need to do in the future is name the type of coffee and ask for it with Eden Brew.
Eden Brew is a start-up company we’re a part of that’s developing animal-free dairy products. They’re aiming for that creamy, frothy deliciousness we know, while also being lactose and cholesterol-free.
This is the first company of its kind in Australia. The science behind it draws on our expertise in flavour, texture and precision fermentation.
How to make milk without a cow
Researchers at our Food Innovation Centre in Victoria are perfecting the product ahead of an expected launch late in 2022.
Working with our yeast synthetic biology researchers and the National Biologics Facility, they begin with a yeast and then produce proteins using fermentation. For centuries, people have used fermentation to make cheese, yoghurt, beer and wine. But in this case, the fermentation is more precise. With this process, our researchers can produce the same casein and whey proteins found in cow’s milk. These proteins form the base which we combine with minerals, sugars, fats and flavours to create a glass of milk.
Animal-free milk is complementary – not competitive – to dairy
Eden Brew provides another option for consumers in the growing number of alternative protein products, both meat and dairy. Many of these cater to consumers wanting more sustainable, plant-based or allergen-free alternatives. In 2019, Dairy Australia reported that milk substitutes made up about 9.2 per cent of the dairy market in Australia.
That’s the reason for the formation of the new company by Australia’s largest dairy co-op, Norco, venture capital firm, Main Sequence and CSIRO.
Norco is 100 per cent farmer-owned so their involvement in Eden Brew makes sense. They are getting behind a new innovation that offers more choice to consumers.
Eden Brew was formed through our Company Creation team and our Future Protein Mission. Company Creation brings together the founders (science, investor, entrepreneur and industry) required to build companies that can take science and technology innovation to market at pace.
Our Missions program tackles big global challenges and our Future Protein Mission aims to grow Australia’s protein industry by $10 billion by 2027.
A similar approach was taken in 2019 when plant-based protein company v2food was formed, backed by our science. In just two and a half years, the value of v2food has increased significantly.
Therefore, if Eden Brew follows a similar trajectory, then profits will go directly back to Norco’s 292 dairy farmers. They will be able to continue investing in their communities and ensure there’s a future for generations of dairy farmers. Our organisation also stands to benefit, and any equity we earn will be invested back into science to support the industry.
Eden Brew has its sights set on a range of animal-free dairy products in the future. In 2023 that double shot, extra hot, animal-free dairy cappuccino with extra froth on the side and two sugars is going to taste great.
27th July 2021 at 9:07 pm
Well if my money has to go to someone it may as well go to Norco. Perhaps in the future this will prove so popular that the co-op see no point in sustaining their cruel dairy operations. I only hope this milk doesn’t actually taste like dairy milk, which is entirely foul stuff, but what would be fab is some sort of cream that can be whipped or clotted and tastes good on scones. If our csiro can drop everything and get on that stat, that’d be good thanks.
27th July 2021 at 8:58 pm
How can this product be considered “an allergen-free alternative”? When the article states “ With this process, our researchers can produce the same casein and whey proteins found in cow’s milk.” It is the proteins (casein and whey) that people are allergic to.
28th July 2021 at 1:01 pm
I so agree…
29th July 2021 at 2:17 pm
Hi Toni, thanks for your comment. We haven’t said it is allergen-free, but it will be low allergen because it does not contain lactose. So, people with allergies or digestive issues related to milk proteins will experience the same reactions with Eden Brew.
27th July 2021 at 6:18 pm
Then they shouldn’t be called dairy….
17th August 2021 at 12:38 am
Then what is peanut butter, soy milk, oat milk etc?
You can see how misinformation starts with public posts, many of which take on a life of their own.
27th July 2021 at 2:26 pm
are these new formulated milks as nutritive as normal cows milk
28th July 2021 at 2:34 am
The nutrition in milk comes predominantly from the whey protein. Since this method creates whey (just not from cows) then yes, it should have the same nutrition quality/quantity.
There’s a similar company in the US called “Perfect Day” – their website does a fantastic job of explaining how it all works.
29th July 2021 at 2:07 pm
Hi Terry, thanks for your comment. Definitely. We’re going to make sure Eden Brew is just as nutritious as cow’s milk. In fact, we could even fortify it to make it more nutritious.
27th July 2021 at 12:54 pm
Animal free milk, but you insist on the sugar with your coffee? Thanks for the heads up, I now know what products not to buy. Time to spread the word.
27th July 2021 at 8:41 pm
You don’t have to add sugar to your cappuccino if you don’t want it ?
28th July 2021 at 12:14 am
No one that has gone plant-based or vegan for ethical or environmental reasons is going to buy this if the profits go to dairy farmers. The market seems tiny if Eden Brew aren’t intending to compete with dairy.
I have no idea why any company would continue to subsidise a failing industry at the point that a much better technology has come along. Animal farming has only a decade or two left in existence.
13th May 2022 at 12:48 pm
I was thinking that myself. But if they are funding dairy farmers who are trying to transition to a new enterprise in an effort to stop dairy farming, then I would full support that.
28th July 2021 at 2:30 am
I don’t understand your point? What’s wrong with sugar in coffee? What does that have to do with this new innovation?