De Novo Dairy Brings Africa To Animal-Free Dairy Movement

De Novo Dairy logo

De Novo Dairy, Africa’s first precision fermentation company, is producing dairy-like milk proteins without using animals. The business, which is based in Cape Town, uses fermentation technology to generate animal-free milk proteins that are molecularly comparable to those found in cow’s milk by using microbial hosts as cell factories. It wants to harness those proteins to make rich, luscious ice cream, melty, stretchy cheese, and healthful yogurt on a large scale.

De Novo was created by a group of young South African entrepreneurs, two of whom had previously worked on insect-based ice cream, but the company has since shifted its focus to animal-free proteins produced by precision fermentation. Jean Louwrens and Leah Bessa co-founded Gourmet Grubb, an insect ice cream company, before forming De Novo Dairy with Richard Grieves and Joni Symon. The researchers discovered that generating proteins using precision fermentation technology was a better technique to getting consumers on board with sustainable proteins during the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Novo’s products aim to provide the same familiar sensory experience and nutritional value as dairy milk while being more ethical and sustainable. Milk proteins are what give dairy milk its taste, texture, and behavior, and De Novo’s products aim to provide the same familiar sensory experience and nutritional value while being more ethical and sustainable. Consumers will be able to enjoy the real flavor, texture, and nutritional value of animal-derived dairy without the factory farming, lactose, hormones, or antibiotics once De Novo’s product pipeline is commercialized.

Animal-Free Dairy Protein

De Novo received an early-stage investment from CULT Food Science, an investment platform that focuses exclusively on cellular agriculture companies that are providing solutions to the ethical and environmental consequences of global factory farming and aquaculture, as a first step toward expanding its platform.

“CULT is excited to add De Novo to its growing portfolio of innovators that are working to change the global food industry for the better. We are keenly interested in De Novo’s work and how it might revolutionize the dairy business and alter consumer demand for traditional dairy products… Finding ways to convert long standing industries that are harmful to animals and the environment into a sustainable alternative is the wave of the future and we at CULT are doing what we can to sponsor this shift through our investments,” stated Lejjy Gafour, President of CULT.

The Growth of Precision Fermentation

De Novo Dairy is the latest addition to a growing list of companies using precision technology to create animal-free dairy proteins. Perfect Day was the first company to use the technique to generate bioidentical whey proteins, making it a pioneer in the growing market. Perfect Day, the most well-funded startup in the space, has evolved into a three-pronged firm to maximize its effect. It not only sells its animal-free proteins to other companies for product development, but it also uses them to make consumer items such as ice cream brands Brave Robot and CoolHaus, as well as cheese brands Modern Kitchen. Perfect Day also provides technology development services to other entrepreneurs in the rapidly growing precision fermentation industry.

Novel Culture in San Francisco is working on a dairy-like vegan mozzarella after finding a new way to generate casein—another protein found in cow’s milk—using a precise fermentation process that allows it to make “real cow cheese without the cow.” The company raised $25 million in a Series A fundraising round last year to help bring its groundbreaking animal-free cheese to market, beginning with a few pizzerias.

Remilk, an Israeli business, uses microbial fermentation to make animal-free milk proteins for a base that’s similar to dairy milk but doesn’t contain any animal-derived elements. The company’s commercial partners then make dairy-like goods including yogurt, cheese, and cream.

“Today’s non-dairy alternatives address environmental and health concerns but universally fail to create authentic dairy-based products, like cheese… We’re bridging this gap by making dairy products with dairy proteins, without needing a single cow,” stated Remilk co-founder and CEO, Aviv Wolff.



LEARN ABOUT PEELED, OUR BRAND NEW TV SHOW: VKind is making VEGAN HISTORY by introducing the first and only 100% vegan cooking competition TV show! Be sure to visit our new Peeled website for the latest news, contests, giveaways, and raffles and to get VIP tickets to our Worldwide Premiere on Sept. 24th, 2022! Our exclusive red carpet premiere event will be held in the prestigious Directors Guild of America Theater in Hollywood, CA. Visit PeeledShow.Com now to learn more!

CONTESTS & GIVEAWAYS: Be the first to hear about our latest Giveaways, Contests, and Raffles by following us on Instagram where all of our giveaways are featured.

WATCH & LEARN: We have so much exciting content on our YouTube channel with some amazing new shows! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for our latest shows, live events, interviews, videos, news, secret giveaway contests & more!

GET FEATURED: We would love to publish & promote your delicious vegan recipes on our App, websites, and social media channels. Submit your recipes here!

ADD YOUR LISTING: Are you ready to attract customers and clients hyped on your values and what you offer? We’re all about opening up more possibilities to support small to medium-sized vegan businesses, professionals, and companies, like YOU. Add your listing now!

SUBSCRIBE FOR THE LATEST NEWS: Get exclusive access to the latest vegan businesses, events, and plant-based news hot off the press. Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Our mission is to connect vegan and veg-curious consumers with vegan brands, businesses, and professionals—the champions of conscious innovation.