Real Vegan Cheese
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The goal of this project is to make real vegan cheese by engineering normal baker's yeast (S. cerevisiae) to express milk protein (casein), purifying the protein, creating a milk-substitute by blending in vegan replacements for lactose and milkfat, and finally turning the resulting milk-substitute into semi-hard cheese like gouda using the normal cheese-making process. Watch a brief video about the project.
The main challenges include:
- Getting the major casein-proteins secreted.
- Achieving a high level of expression.
- Ensuring the required post-translational modifications take place.
- Cost-efficient protein purification.
- Stable micelle-formation.
- Finding a suitable milk-fat replacement.
- Finding a suitable lactose replacement
- Ethical and environmental impact studies
- A comparison between yeast bioreactors and dairy cows will be essential
- Ensuring a safe and responsible research environment is already a key goal of CCL and BioC, but we will have to field potential safety concerns specifically related to the Real Vegan Cheese project.
- Funding and spreading the word
- We have raised about $37,000 on indiegogo and the funding we raised is being used on developing the feasibility of producing Real Vegan Cheese from baker's yeast.
- We plan to patent and abandon to keep this technology free for everyone
- Providing hands-on lab training.
Here are some different ways to get involved:
- Go to one of our Monday evening working meetings 7pm PST:
- Read our Introductory mini-textbook (work in progress)
- Get on one or more of our mailing lists
- Help fund the project
- Send us an email at email@example.com
- So, you want to join the Real Vegan Cheese project Blog? - 2022 Orientation for new folks
- Add to this wiki.
- Narwhal Cheese!
- Experiments started January 2016
- Shared Laboratory Notebook
- How to take notes and record data
- Questions and answers
- Cheese making
- Existing vegan cheeses
- Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications
- Health effects: allergy and cancer link
- Product viability
- Budget, planning and orders
- Wetware inventory
- External communications
- Service and reagent providers - Sequencing, synthesis, enzymes, etc.
- Video - Video and audio documentation, teleconferencing and live-streaming
- Finances - Incoming monies, purchases, etc.
- Media - Articles written about us
- Similar projects - Other people doing similar stuff