Tech Startup Developing Dairy-Free Whey Protein From Yeast

Tech-based animal-free dairy company Perfect Day is teaming up with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a global leader in food ingredients. The brands entered into a Joint Development Agreement which will allow for the upped production of Perfect Day’s animal-free whey.

Whey is the liquid leftover from curdled and strained milk. To combat the environmental, ethical, and health concerns of producing and consuming animal products, Perfect Day set out to create the same product but without the use of animals. Using microflora – a blanket term for organisms like yeast and fungi – the brand produces dairy proteins like casein and whey. The fermentation process is safe, more clean, and more efficient than animal-derived methods and the final whey product is gluten-free, and lactose-free.

The move marks the first time in history that dairy proteins will be produced on a large scale with fermentation instead of farmed animals.

In a press release, Perfect Day commented on the significance of its recent partnership with ADM, given the ingredient giant’s reputation in the food industry. “It’s hard to overstate [ADM’s] impact; if you live in the United States, it’s virtually guaranteed you’ve eaten a food product containing ADM ingredients,” Perfect Day wrote.

The partnership will allow the companies to lower the cost of animal-free whey to equal that of animal-based versions.


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Perfect Day is working alongside food and beverage companies – “big and small” – to introduce the item to market. But it’s not just restaurants and supermarkets interested in the product. Non-profit organizations, governments, and the public have expressed interest in the method “as a means of providing sustainable and affordable protein to undernourished populations,” as well as bringing “protein independence” to regions that currently import most of their dairy.

Co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day, Ryan Pandya, spoke with Forbes about his company for one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 segments, that celebrates young creators and entrepreneurs across various fields.

Pandya commented on the unsustainable nature of animal agriculture, especially its substantial energy and water use and the fact that the sector produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s transportation combined. “So we have to figure out better ways to do these things,” he said about food production.

With a background in chemical and biological engineering, Pandya revealed he was first inspired to apply technology to the food industry during his time working in the medical field. “I realized we’re actually using routinely in the pharmaceutical industry – we’re using the same exact technology to make protein in the form of antibodies without animals,” he said to Forbes.

The technology allows Perfect Day to create dairy that is “accessible for everyone who loves it.”

Speaking about the company’s vision, Perfect Day explained in its press release, “Our dream – to make the world kinder and greener while empowering people to enjoy the foods they love – is finally starting to come true.”

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