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TurtleTree Obtains Self-Affirmed GRAS Status: A Leap Forward in Sustainable Nutrition


TurtleTree, a Singaporean food tech startup, has achieved a significant regulatory milestone by obtaining the first-ever self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status for its precision-fermented lactoferrin, known as LF+. This breakthrough sets the stage for the U.S. commercialization of LF+ in Q4 2023 and is expected to position TurtleTree at the forefront of the precision fermentation dairy-protein industry.


An Achievement in the Dairy Protein Industry


The self-affirmed GRAS status, attained according to U.S. FDA regulations, allows TurtleTree to commercialize LF+, marking it as the first company globally in its field to achieve this status for an animal-free lactoferrin product. The company plans to apply for full FDA approval in the coming year. This status is a testament to TurtleTree’s commitment to innovation, safety, and efficacy in its advanced technology.


Addressing the Global Demand for Lactoferrin


Lactoferrin, a main whey protein found in human milk and bovine colostrum, is in high demand due to its numerous health benefits, including immunity boosting, gut strengthening, and iron regulation properties. However, its supply is limited, as it takes at least 10,000 liters of milk to produce just 1 kilogram of purified lactoferrin. TurtleTree's LF+ aims to supplement the global shortage of lactoferrin and make it more accessible to consumers, especially those previously unable to access the protein due to high costs and supply issues.


Expanding the Functional Applications of Lactoferrin


TurtleTree’s LF+ will extend the functionality of lactoferrin beyond traditional uses like infant formula and supplements. The company plans to use LF+ in a variety of adult nutrition products such as protein powders, functional beverages, meal replacement alternatives for the elderly, and multivitamins. Additionally, LF+ will be used to fortify plant-based dairy products, bridging the functional gap with traditional dairy milk.


Sustainability Through Precision Fermentation


TurtleTree emphasizes the sustainability of producing lactoferrin through precision fermentation. This method is significantly more environmentally friendly than traditional dairy production, which is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. Precision fermentation dairy proteins, like LF+, promise a much lower environmental impact, emitting fewer emissions, requiring less energy, and consuming less water than conventional dairy production methods.


A Step Towards Sustainable and Health-Conscious Choices


The self-affirmed GRAS status for TurtleTree’s LF+ not only validates the company’s commitment to innovation but also opens doors to exciting partnerships with U.S. food and beverage companies. Customers have already expressed interest in purchasing $500 million worth of LF+ over the next five years. This milestone reflects TurtleTree’s broader commercialization strategy to make sustainable and health-conscious choices more accessible to a wider audience.


In conclusion, TurtleTree’s achievement of self-affirmed GRAS status for LF+ is a pivotal development in the sustainable nutrition sector. It showcases the company’s innovative approach to addressing global supply scarcity and environmental concerns, while also enhancing consumer access to functional and beneficial dairy proteins.

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