Shanghai-based Changing Bio, after winning the Sustainability Innovation Award at BEYOND Expo 2023 in Macau Official debut The company debuted a line of alt dairy products made with a yeast-derived microbial protein called Kluvi at the 25th annual Bakery Expo in Shanghai.
At the event, the company’s new ChangingPro line, which includes whipped cream and a low-fat Parmesan powder rich in protein and probiotics, features the novel protein Kluvi infused with plant-based ingredients.. Other products use novel proteins but are mixed with conventional dairy products.
Cluvi, considered a complete source of protein with a PDCAAS score of 1, is a domesticated strain from a bacterium discovered in Shangri-La, a famous city located on the southeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
“There are 10,000 billion species of microorganisms coexisting with us on Earth, which harbors a huge opportunity to obtain high-quality proteins,” Luo Bin, founder and CEO of Changing Bio, told reporters at the event.
Founded in 2017, Changing Bio focuses on developing sustainable one-to-one replacements for conventional dairy ingredients used in the baking industry. However, its microbial protein offers a wide range of applications: milk, yogurt, cookies, chocolate, candy and bread.
Biotech uses two fermentation technologies to obtain protein from microorganisms: biomass fermentation (CluV) and precision fermentation (acellular recombinant protein).
According to the Good Food Institute, products using recombinant proteins are not yet approved in China. But proteins derived from biomass are already listed as edible.
Variable Bio has already received regulatory approval for Cluvi from the CFDA (China Food and Drugs Administration), producing it at a Small experimental production line. A 9,000-square-meter plant that will house six production tank production lines is under construction.
Microbial proteins will become mainstream
Microbial fermentation is impressively more efficient than traditional farming for protein synthesis. Changing Bio estimates that its process reduces land use by 99%, greenhouse gas emissions by 94% and uses 99% less water than conventional dairy protein.
A GFI report last year found that Chinese consumers are increasingly open to trying new proteins for nutritional value, food safety and affordability. As a result, investment in APAC fermentation protein companies increased by 67%, bucking the overall global economic trend.
Advances in synthetic biology technology in Shanghai are expected to shake up the global edible protein market, with alternative microbial synthesized proteins capturing 22% of the market by 2035. Changeable Bio and other biotech companies have established the Food Synthetic Biology Innovation Center to promote biotechnology in the food industry.
“In addition to animal and plant proteins, microbial proteins are expected to become the “third pole,” Bean said at the event.