NETHERLANDS – Vivici, a pioneering company in the alternative protein space, has formed a strategic alliance with Ginkgo Bioworks to propel the development of sustainable, nutritious dairy proteins using precision fermentation.

The collaboration will leverage Ginkgo Bioworks’ expertise in strain engineering, optimization, and performance to usher in the next generation of functional alternative proteins.

Ginkgo Bioworks, known for its platform in cell programming and biosecurity, will deploy its Protein Production Services and generative AI platform to identify the most promising candidate strains for Vivici.

In turn, Vivici will utilize these strains to expand its current lineup of proteins, contributing to the production of eco-friendly nutrition for consumers.

Stephan van Sint Fiet, CEO at Vivici, emphasized the unique challenges in precision fermentation for dairy proteins, including gene expression efficiency, post-translational modifications, and protein excretion.

“Ginkgo has excellent capabilities and is one of the leading companies in creating biodiversity, also with the aid of AI, and selecting for candidates with the right performance utilizing high-end robotics screening,” he said.

“Ginkgo’s technology and AI-driven approach are expected to overcome these challenges, enabling the generation of optimized precision fermentation systems for the efficient production of individual proteins with enhanced characteristics.”

He noted that the collaboration aims to tackle the growing demand for alternative dairy products, driven in part by the significant percentage of the global adult population with limited lactase enzyme expression.

“Many individuals, particularly in Africa, Asia, and Native America, face challenges in digesting lactose due to genetic factors. As people become more health-conscious, the demand for alternatives like lactose-free milk, cheese, and bread is on the rise.”

Meanwhile, Vivici plans to launch its nature-equivalent whey protein beta-lactoglobulin product in early 2024, marking a significant step forward in the alternative protein industry.

The partnership with Ginkgo Bioworks positions the companies to be at the forefront of innovation in producing nutritious and sustainable alternative proteins at commercially viable prices.

“We believe our speed and experience with dairy protein development, ultra high throughput screening, and fermentation scale-up can enable Vivici to successfully expand their current protein portfolio and bring new solutions to market,” Kevin Madden, Senior VP of Commercialization at Ginkgo Bioworks, stated.

As awareness of health concerns grows and the urbanization of lifestyles continues, the alternative protein industry is expected to evolve rapidly.

The Vivici and Ginkgo partnership aims to play a pivotal role in driving this evolution and meeting the increasing demand for sustainable and nutritious protein alternatives.