Perfect Day raises awareness of animal-free milk proteins
For the founders of Perfect Day Inc, Ryan Pandya, 30, and Perumal Gandhi, 31, an interest in lowering the environmental impact of our diets led to the development of ‘whey protein.’
‘We looked into what makes milk and discovered that the secret is protein,’ Pandya adds, recalling how giving up dairy products was the most difficult element of their effort to eliminate animal products from their diet.
Perfect Day was formed in 2014 by Pandya and Gandhi, both of whom have backgrounds in biomedical engineering, to discover innovative methods of producing food that leave a smaller environmental footprint. Through ‘precise fermentation,’ their team created the world’s first totally animal-free method of producing milk protein that is equal to that found in cow’s milk, according to Pandya.
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‘We’ve devised a fermentation method that’s quite similar to how the medical business generates medicines and active pharmaceutical components,’ he explained. The same technology is used ‘to manufacture any protein we desire, at a low enough cost and high enough purity to be utilised in food,’ he added.
Their flagship product, which launched in 2020, is available in the United States, Hong Kong, and other countries. They received licence from the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to market their protein in India in June 2022, according to Pandya.
With the recent acquisition of Sterling Biotech (with facilities in Gujarat) for ₹638 crores, the long-term goal is to strengthen manufacturing and make India a regional centre for nutritious, scalable, and sustainable protein production,’ he stated. He stated that this will be for both the domestic and export markets.
The promoters of Sterling Biotech are being looked into by government agencies for possible economic crimes. Sterling’s promoters, according to Pandya, have not joined the Perfect Day family. He said that only the buildings (which make high-end pharmaceutical parts) and about 700 employees were kept.
In response to certain dairy firms’ belief that milk replacements were not milk, Pandya stated, ‘we’ve already been working with some of the world’s major dairy corporations. We’re not here to cause havoc. We like to think of it as a collaboration, and the dairy business agrees.’
‘From the dairy industries’ viewpoint, if there’s a consumer out there that they can reach with the product that they aren’t selling yet and they can offer a method for them to do so, they are more than delighted,’ he added, noting that everyone was interested in offering consumers a choice.’
‘We often find ourselves talking about things like emissions and less use of resources in the US, but I think what is really important is resilience with respect to something like drought or changing weather patterns that might make it more difficult to grow animal protein,’ Pandya said, as investors look for climate-proof food companies and start-ups looking for animal product alternatives.
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We see precision fermentation as a lot more climate-proof, the future-proof approach of providing nutrition that people can rely on whatever the future holds.’
There are three parts to Perfect Day: ingredient discovery, consumer products (with many different brands sold around the world), and enterprise biology. It has a research centre in Bengaluru with a staff of 100 people.