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US Food and Drug Administration approves ImaginDairy non-animal milk proteins

January 5, 2024

Israeli food-tech company, ImaginDairy, a developer of non-animal based dairy proteins, has become the third company in the world in this field to receive approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The approval enables the company to start selling its products in the USA. The two other dairy proteins companies with FDA approval are US company Perfect Day and Israeli company Remilk, which received approval in June 2022.

ImaginDairy was founded in 2020 by its CEO Dr Eyal Afergan, Dr Arie Abo, and Dr. Tamir Tuller, with the support of Strauss Group’s food-tech incubator The Kitchen. The company specializes in producing dairy proteins without animals. The proteins are used to make a variety of dairy products, such as cheeses, yogurt, and ice cream.

The company has raised US$30 million since it was founded. Among its investors are Entrée Capital, Target Global, MoreVC, and global food giant Danone.

"Our end product is a protein powder that we sell to dairies around the world," said Afergan. "We supply them with the powder, and help them to develop the product they are interested in developing. We are already at advanced stages with global companies, and I believe that in the coming year there will be products using our proteins on the shelves."

According to the company, the proteins it has developed help in producing food products identical in taste, texture, and functionality to cow’s milk. In addition, as far as nutritional value is concerned, these products have an advantage in that they contain none of the unhealthy elements that exist in cow’s milk, such as cholesterol, lactose, and hormones.

ImaginDairy produces its proteins by means of a precision fermentation process using a fungus that has been used for hundreds of years to produce, for example, miso sauce. The company says that it products also have environmental advantages. According to Afergan, the company’s production process is environmentally friendly, because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions and land use, and requires less water, in comparison with the animal-based dairy industry.

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