Animal-free functional dairy proteins company TurtleTree announced the debut of their revolutionary Precision Fermentation-Produced Lactoferrin — LF+. This high-value bioactive milk protein— one of the most powerful in cow's milk—brings with it many functional benefits that include strengthening immunity, iron regulation and digestive health. Following this big announcement, TurtleTree will host an exclusive tasting event in San Francisco for investors and food partners; giving them a sneak peek at its potential. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the unadulterated flavors with added health-boosting benefits.
Lactoferrin, dubbed "pink gold" for its iron-rich pink hue and significant worth, is found in cow's milk yet access is restricted due to limited concentrations and costly extraction methods. To contextualize its worth compared to other dairy proteins such as whey, which retails at around $1 USD per kilogram, lactoferrin varies from $700 to $1,500 USD per kilogram. These high prices reflect the arduous process required to collect the precious compound—it takes up to 10,000 liters of milk—from about 50 cows producing a week's worth—to yield a single kilogram of purified lactoferrin.
Lactoferrin is currently being used in supplements and baby formulas, however due to its scarcity, the demand for it in segments like sports nutrition cannot be satisfied. This protein helps enhance physical performance by improving endurance, fatigue resistance, muscle strength and energetic efficiency. Unfortunately, obtaining lactoferrin directly from whole cow's milk can be difficult because pasteurization removes up to 50% of the naturally occurring protein. Additionally, those who prefer plant-based milk can face a challenge when attempting to maintain their intake of this crucial nutrient.
TurtleTree is utilizing precision fermentation to eliminate cows from the lactoferrin supply chain, innovating an abundant and cost-effective source of this nutrient. They are making it possible for plant-based dairy products and other edibles to benefit from lactoferrin's advantages. Recent concerns on the nutritional levels of some plant-based foods has been spread in the news, but TurtleTree is proving that precision fermentation can bridge the gap between traditional and vegan products.
Within six to 12 months of TurtleTree's commercial launch of LF+ in Q4 2023, TurtleTree expects to achieve profitability on a per unit basis.