Silicon Valley-based company Geltor (formerly Gelzen) recently spoke with local media outlet San Francisco Chronicle about its efforts to replace animal-derived gelatin in common foods. Geltor CEO Alexander Lorestani explained the process of creating animal-free gelatin—likening it to a brewery that makes proteins instead of alcohol—which includes fermenting bacteria that mimics animal proteins in a yeast-based mixture. Traditionally, gelatin is derived from animal bones and is used as a texturizer in products such as gummy bears, Jell-O, and yogurt. Lorestani revealed that Geltor is currently readying to debut its vegan alternative—which provides a better texture than plant-based ingredients such as agar-agar—and plans to send samples to interested manufacturers for testing. “The opportunity to get something that is molecularly and functionally identical (to animal gelatin) is really exciting for them,” Lorestani said. While Geltor’s product does not contain animal cells, companies such as Memphis Meats, Israel-based SuperMeat, and Mosa Meat are working to create cultured meat (made with a small sample of animal cells) in an effort to displace traditional animal agriculture.
Photo courtesy of The Good Food Institute