Miruku, a New Zealand alt dairy startup, has announced an oversubscribed $2.4 million seed investment round. The company is developing dairy proteins in plants through its proprietary molecular farming platform to create real cheese and yogurt without cows.
Plants lie at the bottom of the food chain. Miruku cuts out the middlemen (cows) which convert plant energy (sugars) to proteins.
Miruku is modifying plant cells to have them produce dairy proteins, sugars, and fats as though they were tiny cellular factories. As the company notes, cows already use plants to produce these dairy proteins, so the process effectively circumvents them as an intermediary and delivers plant-produced compounds to food producers instead.
Miruku was established in 2020 by CEO Amos Palfreyman, a former dairy industry executive, as well as Ira Bing, Professor Harjinder Singh, and Professor Oded Shoseyov. The company claims its proprietary molecular farming platform is unique and designed for scale and implementation across geographies, enabling the development of traditional dairy products like cheese and yogurt and opening the possibility for new product formats.
“Miruku’s breakthrough plant technologies hold potential to produce animal-free milk proteins cost-effectively. Plants lie at the bottom of the food chain. Miruku cuts out the middlemen (cows) which convert plant energy (sugars) to proteins. Instead Miruku produces its proteins directly in the plants themselves. This is an elegant approach to energy and production efficiency and this efficiency is better for soil, water and atmosphere,” explained Professor Shoseyov.