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milk

Rehovot-based Remilk to open site in Denmark to produce animal-free milk products.

By Pesach Benson, United With Israel

Israel remains at the forefront of the development of nutritious, inexpensive and tasty “cow-free” dairy.

Producing large quantities of milk without the demands of caring for cows eases the burdens on the environment and helps people who can’t drink real milk or prefer a vegan diet.

It also eliminates the cholesterol, lactose, hormones and antibiotics commonly found in dairy products.

That’s why Remilk, an Israeli startup based in Rehovot, created widespread buzz in the food-tech industry with the announcement that it will be building the world’s largest cow-free dairy facility in Denmark.

The plan calls for a 750,000 square feet (69, 677 square meters) facility in an eco-industrial park where businesses cooperate to share resources and reduce waste in the Danish town of Kalundborg. Construction of the facility is expected to begin around the end of 2022 according to Green Queen, a website that follows issues of sustainability in foodtech.

Founded in 2019, Remilk copies the gene responsible for the production of milk protein in cows and inserts it into yeast. A microbial fermentation process yields milk proteins that the company describes as “chemically identical” to milk proteins found in traditional dairy products. The proteins are then dried into a powder that can be used in all sorts of “dairy” products.

Proteins produced at the new facility will be used in products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream, “in volumes equivalent to that produced by 50,000 cows each year,” the company said.

CEO Aviv Wolff told the Times of Israel, “We’ve basically ported the whole mechanism of producing milk into a single-cell microbe. We don’t need the ‘rest of the cow,’ and we surely don’t need to spend resources in the process of creating a 900-kilogram animal.”