Geltor gears up for mid-2021 launch of vegan collagen for food, beverage, nutrition markets

Will Kreznick

Like Perfect Day – which makes ‘animal-free’ dairy proteins – Geltor​​ deploys synthetic biology to engineer microbes to produce collagen (which is currently extracted from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue) via a fermentation process. The San Leandro-based startup – which launched its first products in the topical skincare category – […]

Like Perfect Day – which makes ‘animal-free’ dairy proteins – Geltor​ deploys synthetic biology to engineer microbes to produce collagen (which is currently extracted from animal skin, bones, and connective tissue) via a fermentation process.

The San Leandro-based startup – which launched its first products in the topical skincare category – plans to launch animal-free collagen for the food and nutrition market this summer, said VP business development Scott Fabro, one of three new hires (along with Alex Patist (ex-Cargill, Bolt Threads) as VP operations; and biotech specialist Michele Champagne as VP commercialization and regulatory affairs).

“Collagen is one of the fastest growing ingredients in the functional food and beverage space and our vegan collagen will deliver functional benefits that will be backed by clinical studies ​[the results of] which we’ll be announcing early next year; it’s not a commodity ingredient.”

‘We are already engaged with several dozen customers’

While the functional benefits will be key to the ingredient’s appeal, its ‘animal-free’ credentials are also attractive to food and nutrition brands, many of whom are looking to make vegan claims for environmental, ethical, or religious reasons (pork-derived collagen is not halal or kosher, while bovine collagen is only halal if the animals were slaughtered in a certain way), said Fabro.

We are already engaged with several dozen customers, and the interest level is extremely high,”​ added Fabro, who said Geltor planned to submit its GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) determination to the FDA.

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