We employ microorganisms instead of cows to create delicious, functional proteins. They are the key to our greatest foods, and we make them using precision fermentation.
DOIN’ IT WITH DNA.
It starts with DNA, the code used by every organism as a recipe for proteins.
In both cows and microorganisms, DNA code directs protein building and specifies what those proteins do.
The DNA of cows codes for decadent dairy protein and it’s this we use as a blueprint to create our own delicious, functional proteins.
Old microorganisms, new tricks.
Some microorganisms ferment beer or bread. We zoom in, rewiring their DNA and get them to kick the alcohol habit, producing different proteins instead!
Our microorganisms can both perfectly recreate cow proteins, like whey or casein, or make entirely new proteins.
Once these microorganisms are in their swimming gear, we load them into fermenter tanks.
After we get them warm and well-fed, they start producing proteins. We filter off these proteins and blend them with plant-based fats to create a sumptuous milky broth.
Blessed are the
As with classic cheeses, we use heat and enzymes to coagulate this broth, turning it into a lecker curd.
Finally, the magical powers of salt crystals and moulds are invoked, creating beautiful cheeses that follow in the footsteps of legendary European cheeses.
What is precision fermentation?
Precision fermentation uses microorganisms (think yeast, fungi, or algae) to produce complex, organic molecules like proteins or fat, without the exploitation of animals. It’s been used for over 50 years in the medical and food industries, already replacing ingredients like animal rennet.
We identified the cow genes responsible for producing milk proteins, writing copies of them ourselves that we blended into the DNA of our microorganisms. After feeding them with nutrients such as carbohydrates and nitrogen they produce milk proteins identical to those found in cow’s milk.
What will industrial production of Formo’s cheese look like?
Imagine a large beer brewery, but for cheese. We’re currently running pilot-scale fermentation tanks but once we industrialise the process, we’ll use stainless steel tanks of 50,000 liters or more to grow and multiply our milk proteins in a secure and controlled environment. We’ll use these to produce the basic curd for our cheeses, which can then be packaged straight away as fresh cheese or ripened to allow those lovely mature flavours to develop.
Does it contain GMOs?
The proteins in our animal-free cheese are completely GMO free. We have indeed changed the genes of the microorganisms to allow them to make that protein for us though. These microorganisms are merely the factory for our protein though, not something that makes it to the final product.
What happens if this stuff escapes the lab?!
All of large scale fermentation occurs in giant fermenter tanks. These tanks are tightly sealed to avoid outside agents getting into our broth. Were our organisms to slop out of tanks and leap the barbed wire fences around the facility, they would not be able to survive without an optimised temperature or fixable nitrogen source so they would die very quickly. RIP