Animal-free dairy: Perfect Day moves into foodservice via tie-up with Villa Dolce on gelato, ready-to-bake dessert mixes

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

Image credit: Villa Dolce
Image credit: Villa Dolce

Related tags Perfect Day animal-free dairy

Berkeley-based startup Perfect Day – which makes dairy proteins using microbes instead of cows – has made its first move into the foodservice arena via a partnership with Villa Dolce to incorporate ‘animal-free’ whey into two new categories: gelato and shelf-stable mixes for ready-to-bake desserts.

Perfect Day​ - which now supplies several retail ice cream brands (Brave Robot, Nick's, Graeter's etc) with its animal-free whey protein - said the new products (seven gelato flavors, and four dessert mixes) will be available via DOT foods to 2,000+ distributor customers nationwide from restaurants and casinos to hotels and universities.

The new gelato flavors include: Sea Salt Vanilla & Honeycomb, Caramel Cold Brew, Chocolate all’Arancia, Strawberry After Dark, Burnt Caramel Praline, Pistachio Latte, and Tahitian Vanilla Bean; while the ready to bake desserts include: Cookie Dough, Pistachio Cake, Southern Brown Butter Cake, and Lava Cake.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer our food service partners an option that can meet their need for sustainable, animal-free products, without compromising the taste and texture we are known for. We’ve been looking for a solution that lives up the Villa Dolce name, and we’ve found it through Perfect Day,​” said Villa Dolce’s CEO Monte Marcaccini.

Rather than raising farm animals, Perfect Day genetically engineers the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei​​​​ to express whey protein in big fermentation vessels. The whey protein it makes is identical to bovine whey, and is produced with a fraction of the environmental footprint of whey from cows, according to a recent life cycle assessment​.

While ice cream is a great vehicle to showcase its animal-free whey, the ingredient can work in a wide variety of products including cheese, yogurts and creamers, Perfect Day co-founder Ryan Pandya told us in a recent interview: “The really exciting stuff is yet to come."

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