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Imagindairy and Ginkgo Bioworks collaborate to develop and produce animal-free non-whey dairy proteins

March 26, 2024

Imagindairy, the Israel-based food-tech company developing sustainable and commercially viable animal-free dairy proteins, and Ginkgo Bioworks, which is building the leading platform for cell programming and biosecurity, have today announced a new partnership. Together, they aim to deliver a global solution for animal-free non-whey dairy protein production in a highly cost-effective manner. This collaboration will leverage Ginkgo Protein Expression Services and Imagindairy's process development and scaleup expertise to accelerate the development of functional non-whey dairy proteins. This is a multi-year program, funded in part by a joint grant from the Board of Governors of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation.

Imagindairy envisions a cutting-edge transition in the dairy industry that preserves the flavor, functionality and experience of dairy without relying on cows. The company combines its proprietary AI platform with the age-old art of precision fermentation and uses microorganisms to create sustainable, scalable dairy proteins, without sacrificing quality, flavor, or nutritional value. With access to its own fully operational production lines, a first in the industry, Imagindairy is able to produce cost-effective dairy proteins at scale.

Imagindairy and Ginkgo have partnered to design an optimized organism capable of cost-effectively producing non-whey dairy proteins. This will allow Imagindairy to remain focused on whey protein production and commercialization while accelerating time to market of non-whey proteins. In tandem, Ginkgo will utilize its AI and high throughput Foundry capabilities to engineer biological systems for improved production economics and functionality. Imagindairy will then develop the production process and perform scale-up and manufacturing of these proteins, marking a significant milestone in their mission to provide a full range of high-quality, animal-free dairy proteins to food producers.

"Ginkgo has firmly established itself in the alternative dairy and food proteins industry, showcasing our leadership in protein and organism engineering," said Jennifer Wipf, Chief Commercial Officer at Ginkgo Bioworks. "We have many successful collaborations in this space, and we're thrilled to get to work with Imagindairy on this innovative and market relevant project. We're also honored to be recognized by the BIRD Foundation. Being awarded this highly competitive grant is a testament to our technical expertise and ability to accomplish this project with Imagindairy. I can speak for the entire team when I say that the samples that Imagindairy have shared are absolutely next-level. If the rest of their pipeline is anything like what we've tasted, we can't wait to try what's next."

"We're proud of this acknowledgment by the BIRD Foundation, as it highlights the importance of further innovation in the alternative proteins field, and our capability to successfully execute this project," added Eyal Afergan, Co-Founder & CEO at Imagindairy. "Our process development capabilities and industrial-scale precision fermentation lines will allow us to rapidly scale the optimized strains created with Ginkgo and bring innovative non-whey proteins to the market faster. We're deeply impressed by Ginkgo's work in the food-tech industry and look forward to collaborating with them on the project. We're confident this collaboration will unlock further product offerings, providing consumers with additional animal-free dairy delights that match the cost and taste of traditional dairy, making significant contributions to the industry, consumers, and the world."

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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