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Alt-milk CSIRO spinout raises $US 5 million

Manufacturing News

Australian precision fermentation company Eden Brew has announced $US 5 million in funding as part of an ongoing capital raise, supporting its R&D and plans to launch a retail ice cream product and scale production of dairy-free milk.

Eden Brew was founded by the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO’s venture capital arm Main Sequence, and dairy cooperative Norco. It uses CSIRO-developed fermentation technology to create dairy-free milk with the same appearance and properties as regular milk.

The new funding of $US 5 million involves a follow-on investment from Main Sequence and new investment from venture capital firm Digitalis Ventures.

“Creating animal-free milk that can meet the doubling protein demand by 2050 sustainably and is just as delicious as cow’s milk, is our North Star,” said CEO and co-founder Jim Fader in a statement on Tuesday.

Fader said the company was rapidly progressing towards “four-casein micelle”, a “holy grail” of dairy proteins, which would deliver the same properties as regular dairy milk with greater sustainability.

According to CSIRO, the product is lactose-free, as well as “cholesterol friendly”. 

An estimated 14 per cent of Australian greenhouse gas emissions are from the agricultural sector, and over three-quarter of those from livestock farming.

“While there are numerous milk alternatives, they cannot sustainably meet future demand and don’t achieve the sensory or processability properties of cow’s milk,” added Fader.

“Precision fermentation is already enhancing food production, not just in cost, but in sustainability and supply chain resilience,” said Main Sequence partner Phil Morle, who also chairs Eden Brew.

“The result will be an improvement in the efficiency of current industrial food production that meets the demand of 10 billion people by 2050.”

Eden Brew launched in July 2021 and aims to launch a retail ice cream in for summer 2023/2024 and produce its milk at scale.

Picture: supplied

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