Brown Foods ushers in a new era of dairy and raises money for cowless milk latte

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Cow’s milk continues to be the main human food. Pediatricians recommend it for growing babies, and for the most part, it has more protein than alternative milks. However, not all people tolerate this milky delight, and the process from cow to dinner table is known. pressure on environmental resources.

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To come in Brown Foodsa one-year-old company developing its first product, UnReal Milk, which is “real” whole milk created using mammalian cell culture technology.

Milk Sohail Gupta Brown Foods

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Sohail Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Brown Foods Image Credits: Brown Foods

The founders, Sohail Gupta, Avhijit Kapoor and Bhavna Tandon, have been friends since their studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. Gupta has been a vegetarian throughout his life, and when his wife became pregnant, they were unable to find an alternative to milk that was as nutritious as regular dairy, that didn’t contribute to further climate change and that didn’t abuse animals. .

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UnReal Milk is their answer to this problem. With a presence in Boston and India, Brown Foods is an alumnus of Y Combinator Winter 2022, which touts itself as the first U.S. company to produce “real cow’s milk” in a laboratory, reaching that milestone in less than 3 months.

“We tested the key macronutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates,” Gupta told TechCrunch. “We could see that the profiles for them were similar to milk in large quantities, and as a result we could say we have a superior product from the lab.”

And, using a cell culture approach, UnReal Milk can be similar in taste and texture to real milk, unlike plant-based alternatives. In addition, it can also be made into typical dairy products such as butter, cheese, and ice cream, and is similar in nutritional properties to cow’s milk. However, unlike conventional dairy products, Brown Foods milk is estimated to have a 90% lower carbon footprint.

Armed with lab validation, the pre-earnings company proceeded to raise a seed round, and on Thursday it announced $2.36 million from investors including Y Combinator, AgFunder, SRI Capital, Amino Capital, Collaborative Fund and a group of individual angel investors. like Kunal Shah.

Scaling is often a problem in cage-grown meat products, so time will tell if Brown Foods can overcome this hurdle and bring a viable product to market in the next few years.

Gupta expects to start with a small expansion next year. Most of the funding will go to these efforts: bioprocessing, scaling and product development.

“The top-level roadmap of how we think is to do a sort of sampling where we can really get feedback and see how things look, and then move on to the kinds of products that we will have for commercialization,” he added.

Meanwhile, global market for dairy alternatives its business is predicted to be worth $50 billion by 2028 and startups are flocking to the sector with different approaches like cell culture and plant-based drinks all trying to disrupt $468 billion traditional dairy market.

During this decade, the market for dairy alternatives is expected to grow faster than traditional dairy products by 10% vs. 3%, which is attracting venture capital investors. For example, Better Dairy raises $22 million earlier this year to create a dairy-free cheese, while Miruku uses molecular farming technology to create milk proteins. In the same time, EVERY Company, notco, Climax Food as well as Perfect day are also attracting the attention of investors as they develop their cheese and dairy alternatives to animals.

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