After winning the Sustainability Innovation Award at BEYOND Expo 2023 in Macau, Shanghai-based Changing Bio officially debuted the company’s first line of alt dairy products made with a microbial protein derived from yeast dubbed Kluvy at the 25th annual Bakery Expo in Shanghai.
At the event, the company’s new ChangingPRO line, including whipped cream and a low-fat parmesan powder high in protein and probiotics featured the novel protein Kluvy mixed with plant-based ingredients. Other products used the novel protein but mixed with conventional dairy.
Kluvy, considered a complete source of protein with a PDCAAS score of 1, is a domesticated strain from a bacteria discovered in Shangri-La, a famous town at the southeastern edge of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
“There are 10,000 billion species of microorganisms that coexist with us on Earth, which harbor a vast 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 broad applications: milk, yogurt, cookies, chocolate, candy, and bread.
The biotech uses two fermentation techs to obtain proteins from microorganisms: biomass fermentation (Kluvy) and precision fermentation (acellular recombinant proteins).
According to the Good Food Institute, products using recombinant proteins are not yet approved in China. But biomass-derived proteins are already cataloged as edible.
Changing Bio has already received regulatory approval from CFDA (China Food and Drugs Administration) for Kluvy, producing it at a small experimental production line. A 9,000-square-meter plant that will hold six production tanks production line is under construction.
Microbial proteins will become mainstream
Microbial fermentation for protein synthesis is impressively more efficient than traditional farming. Changing Bio estimates that its process reduces land use by 99%, greenhouse gas emissions by 94%, and uses 99% less water than conventional dairy proteins.
A GFI report from last year found that Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly open to trying new proteins for increased nutritional value, food safety, and affordability. As a result, investments in APAC fermentation protein companies soared by 67%, bucking the trend of the overall global economy.
Advances in synthetic biology technology in Shanghai are expected to stir up the global edible protein market, with alternative microbial synthesized proteins set to capture 22% of the market by 2035. Changing Bio and other biotech companies established the Food Synthetic Biology Innovation Center to promote biotechnology in the food industry.
“Microbial proteins are expected to become the “third pole” in addition to animal and plant proteins,” Bin said at the event.