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Crop Biotech Update

Dairy-free Ice Cream Made from GE Yeast Sold Out

July 17, 2019

Perfect Day, a start-up company based in the US, developed a new kind of animal-free ice cream. The founders, Ryan Pandya and Perumal Gandhi, call it flora-based ice cream because it was made using genetically engineered yeast. In a matter of days, the limited-edition samples run out, as its website announces that the "perfect ice cream" was sold out.

The founders, who are both vegans, also have similar background of working in medicine where genetically engineered microorganisms are used to develop therapeutics. Thus, they wondered if the same technology could be used to make ice cream. Then they engineered yeast to produce proteins casein and whey, which are both found in dairy products. The flora-based ice cream is lactose-free, but has the same nutrients and taste like regular ice cream. They also used plant-based fats and sugar, but still, the taste of the final product is indistinguishable from ice cream made from cow's milk. Since cows are out of the picture, the technology avoids environmental footprint of raising cows, from the land used for grazing and growing feed to the greenhouse gas footprint coming from cow belches and manure.

Perfect Day has partnered with Archer Daniels Midland Company to scale up production.

Read more from Perfect Day and Fast Company.