This Lab-Made Ice-Cream Is Vegan, Lactose-Free, and Delicious

Perfect Day uses proteins that are genetically identical to dairy protein - no cows were used in the making of this ice cream

Jul 26, 2019

(DUSAN ZIDAR / Shutterstock.com)

Beat the summer heat with ice cream. Whether you have a scoop in a dish or a cone, soft serve or hard-packed, at home or in parlor, nothing beats the cold creamy goodness of ice cream. In the US, Americans eat almost six billion liters of ice cream a year.

So, what's a person who can't or doesn't want to eat dairy to do? There are non-dairy alternatives made of almond milk, coconut milk, soy, or even water that are vegan, gluten-free, and kosher parve. They come in a large variety of flavors, but they just don't have the smooth creamy texture of real ice cream. Until now.

That's because Perfect Day has made a non-dairy vegan product that looks like ice cream and tastes like ice cream but is made in a lab. Absolutely no cows required.

 
 
 
 
 
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We dream of ice cream! Our chef here at Perfect Day is hard at work crafting delicious, animal-free dairy treats. #perfectprotein

A post shared by Perfect Day (@perfectdayfoods) on

The two co-founders, Ryan Pandya from the US and Perumal Gandhi from India, have similar backgrounds working with medicine. According to the Perfect Day website, both men became vegetarians in their teens and because they shared a concern for animal welfare and the environment, they both later adopted a vegan diet. And hated it. What they missed was dairy.

Both men started researching what milk was made of and how it could be engineered independently. They were introduced by a mutual friend in 2014 and realized they were both on the same path and decided to work together. That's how Perfect Day was born.

This California startup has spent the last five years developing the technology to make a functional protein that is genetically identical to the proteins (casein and whey) in cow's milk using a fermentation process.

The flora-based proteins makes dairy products sustainably using less water and resources, less greenhouse emissions and it is cruelty free. The lab made dairy products also do not contain hormones, lactose, cholesterol or pathogens so it is healthier and safer than dairy.

The product was just launched on July 11, 2019 in a limited release that gave people a chance to taste the new ice cream for the first time. It was available in a bundle of three flavors, Salted Fudge and Vanilla Blackberry Toffee but the product quickly sold out and is not yet being produced commercially.  

“What we’re doing here is completely new to the world,” said Ryan Pandya, CEO and Co-founder of Perfect Day in a company news release. “We wanted our first debut to be under the care of our own brand, so that we could demonstrate the consumer benefits inherent to our protein, while starting a conversation about this new approach to making food.”

The co-founders plan on working with companies worldwide to use the protein to create animal-free dairy products. “Our goal has always been impact -- to pave the way for a kinder, greener planet,” said Perumal Gandhi, Co-founder of Perfect Day. “The best way to achieve this will be to work with food companies that already purchase huge amounts of dairy ingredients. While our B2B deals come to fruition, we are eager to share our progress with the world.”

With the success of plant-based meat products like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat shows that the market exists for non-animal alternatives. This could help Perfect Day scale up and allow the new lab-made ice cream to be in your grocer's freezer section in the near future. Yum!

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BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.

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