WHAT IS IT?
Veganism grows in western countries, and with that, the demand for plant-based dairy alternatives. In an attempt to meet this demand, many companies are focusing on the development of alternative protein sources. However, the Dutch start-up Time-Travelling Milkman is doing things differently. They aim to give plant-based food the irresistible creaminess that otherwise only real dairy products have. The team of scientists behind the startup discovered a natural fat in plant seeds that helped them to achieve exactly this.
”It has been greatly overlooked that inside plant seeds, fats are organised in naturally occurring fat droplets covered by proteins, called oleosomes. The presence of a very compact membrane makes Oleosome droplets highly creamy in a similar way as milk fat droplets. Due to these similarities, oleosomes have a high potential as milk fat equivalents for creamy and tasty dairy alternatives, while having almost no environmental impact.“ (Time Travelling Milkman, 2022)
Time-Travelling Milkman developed a method for extracting those fat droplets from seeds and converting them into the proper format for enriching plant-based foods. They offer their product in cream and powder form, both of which promise absolute creaminess. The product is currently (December 2022) in production and scheduled for launch in 2023.
WHY IS IT COOL?
- It is the healthier and more sustainable alternative to existing fat sources such as palm oil and coconut oil.
- The oleosomes can be extracted from European plant seeds, which simplifies production and shortens transport routes.
- Unlike other alternatives, the consistency is not unpleasant and pulpy, but amazingly true to reality.
- The dairy alternative is produced without preservatives or petrochemicals.
WHY DOES IT HAVE FUTURE GROWTH POTENTIAL?
Vegan plant-based dairy products are on the rise because demand is growing and growing. They have more attention than they ever had, but that also leads to criticism. When plant-based products become the norm and go into mass production, sustainability is often neglected to keep profits high. But isn’t the switch to a plant-based diet what is supposed to contribute to a more sustainable world?
Time-Travelling Milkman are one step ahead of any criticism of sustainability shortcomings. They produce locally and use naturally emerging resources to make their products instead of chemicals. The true creaminess that they can give to plant-based substitutes is so far unique. If they scale up their business over time, they can go a long way in getting more people to switch to vegan alternatives. This would be a significant step towards sustainability and animal welfare, which is exactly what we need in the future to preserve our planet.