Brazil’s First Precision Fermentation Startup Future Cow Prepares to Scale Up Production of Animal-Free Milk

Future Cow, a Brazilian food tech startup founded in 2023 by entrepreneur Leonardo Vieira and food scientist Rosana Goldbeck, aims to revolutionize dairy production with precision fermentation, creating real milk without cows.

Considered Brazil’s first cellular agriculture startup using precision fermentation, Future Cow gained momentum through São Paulo’s Antler residency program, securing a $150,000 initial investment. Soon after, in a funding round led by Antler and Big Idea Ventures as part of the first cohort of the New Protein Fund II, it secured R$2 million (around $410,000) to accelerate its fermentation technology.

Recently, the startup was selected for the FoodTech World Cup semi-finals, hosted by FoodHack and Givaudan. It has also been selected to participate in CNPEM’s Deeptech Acceleration Program (PACE), a local initiative that aims to boost Brazilian tech-based startups.

“With the world’s growing population, increasing food insecurity and climate change, the need to reduce risks in food supply chains and production methods has never been more urgent. The production of alternative proteins emerges as a viable solution to these challenges,” Future Cow shared on social media.

Future Cow's co-founder Leonardo Vieira.
© Future Cow

Molecularly identical to dairy

Future Cow uses a digitized blueprint of cow DNA, microbes, and agro-industrial waste to replicate milk proteins through fermentation. These proteins are then separated, dried, and ready to be reconstituted into animal-free milk.

Future Cow’s innovation boasts several advantages. According to the company, its milk is free of hormones, pesticides, lactose, and antibiotics and versatile enough to create any dairy product imaginable. Additionally, compared to traditional dairy, its indoor production reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 97%, water usage by 99%, and animal cruelty by 100%.

“Our animal-free milk is molecularly identical to traditional dairy”

Reportedly, Future Cow has already developed its first milk prototype by fermenting proteins in 15 L vessels. As it prepares to enter the market, the startup plans to test the technology in 200, 2,000, and 5,000 L fermenters, paving the way for industrial production.

Future Cow, a Brazilian food tech startup founded in 2023 by entrepreneur Leonardo Vieira and food scientist Rosana Goldbeck, is revolutionizing milk with precision fermentation-
© Future Cow

Future Cow targets the B2B market, supplying bioidentical milk proteins to food and dairy companies to craft alternative dairy products, chocolates, whey protein powders, and beverages. However, animal-free proteins, considered novel food, need approval from ANVISA, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, before entering the market.

“Our animal-free milk is molecularly identical to traditional dairy, but with a significantly smaller environmental footprint,” says the company. By producing dairy without traditional farming, we address animal welfare concerns and reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with dairy production.”

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