Silicon Valley company Perfect Day Foods is developing a new version of vegan dairy products. The company was founded in 2014 by two biomedical engineers, Perumal Gandhi and Ryan Pandya, after the two were disappointed with the vegan dairy options currently on the market. Perfect Day’s products begin with a yeast strain named “Buttercup” that they inoculate with 3D printed DNA that mimics proteins found in cow’s milk. The substance is left to ferment and is then treated with plant-based fats and nutrients to create vegan whey and casein. “There are [vegan] cheeses that make sense because they have the biggest market, like mozzarella and cheddar, and there’s also the kind of fancy cheese you have with crackers and wine,” Pandya said. “We want to do all of it, and we can do all of it.” The company plans to launch its first product—likely either a vegan cheese or milk alternative—by the end of the year. Nearby California-based company Impossible Foods launched their vegan meat product—made in a similar way by isolating plant-based heme—last summer, and announced plans to expand to 1,000 restaurants by the end of 2017.
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