USA, San Francisco. To answer the growing demand for animal-free collagen, San Francisco-based start-up Provenance Bio, unveiled its first animal-free gelatin product made with its proprietary protein expression platform. The company said that the proteins it produces for this gelatin will be able to beat the prices at which animal-based gelatin are currently sold.
Designed to be identical to animal-sourced collagen, the start-up said that it is focusing on expanding its ability to produce the proteins required to make its collagen at scale. In a release that it has been able to increase the efficiencies of its collagen strains used to make its gelatin by 100 times. Provenance Bio was founded in 2020.
Gelatin is useful in a number of products, not all of which are in the food and beverage space. From gummy bears and supplements to tissue engineering and vitamins, gelatin is a critical ingredient that has nevertheless faced its own share of struggles in recent years. Due to the fact that most gelatin is animal-based and primarily constructed from collagens extracted from cow or pig hides and bones, there have been cases of animal-borne illness associated with this ingredient as well as batch-to-batch variability and price fluctuations.
Forbes reported that synthetic collagen products are pricey ingredients that can cost “many millions of dollars” per kg. However, Provenance Bio is aiming to bring that price point down to $15 per kg.
Not only is the company working to make its animal-free collagen more appealing by striving for price parity, but it is working to decrease its net environmental impact associated with production. The company’s current production requires only 1/50th of the carbon footprint of bovine collagen products. However, in a release, the company said it is working to cut that figure by a further 90% to make products that are over 500 times more carbon efficient than collagens and related products sourced from cattle.