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28th November 2023  Product update: newprotein staff writer

TurtleTree's Animal-free Lactoferrin LF+™ Gains World's First Self-GRAS

TurtleTree has attained the first-ever self-affirmed generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status for its complex functional protein - precision fermentation-derived lactoferrin, LF+ - a highly sought-after ingredient with powerful benefits for immunity, iron regulation, and gut health.

GRAS status confirms that LF+ is safe to be used in food and beverages and paves the way for TurtleTree to commercialize in the U.S., targeting supply gaps in the existing lactoferrin market, as well as adding functionality to the $35 billion plant-based milk market and a broad range of adult nutrition products.

Currently retailing between $750 - 1,500 per kilogram, the demand for lactoferrin heavily outweighs the supply and the accessibility, with an increasing number of consumers seeking its benefits. Given it takes at least 10,000 liters of milk to extract just 1 kilogram of purified lactoferrin, the supply is limited, and today funneled to only a few essential foods and beverages such as infant formula, leaving little for other applications.

With LF+, TurtleTree has tackled the challenge of scaling the production of lactoferrin via precision fermentation, enabling it to supplement the global shortage of lactoferrin as well as meet the demand of new consumers who were previously unable to access the protein because of high costs and supply issues. This includes fortifying adult nutrition products such as protein powders, functional beverages, meal replacement alternatives for the elderly, and multivitamins, as well as supplementing plant-based dairy products to bridge the functional gap with traditional dairy milk.

In addition to enhancing scalability, TurtleTree will enable greater sustainability in the production of this powerful protein. Precision fermentation, where microbes are programmed to produce specific functional ingredients, is a far more sustainable way of producing lactoferrin. By eliminating high methane-emitting cows from the lactoferrin supply chain, TurtleTree can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 91%.

Following the U.S. commercial launch of LF+ in Q4 2023 and leveraging its innovative technology and production methods, TurtleTree will be selling LF+ at a positive gross margin—the first in the precision fermentation dairy-protein industry to do so. TurtleTree's customers have indicated interest in purchasing $500 million worth of LF+ across the next 5 years.

TurtleTree Director of Clinical and Scientific Affairs Vanessa Castagna said "After extensive internal testing and rigorous evaluation by global experts in the field, our animal-free lactoferrin has been affirmed ready for market entry. Securing self-GRAS marks a pivotal step, attesting to the safety and efficacy of our advanced technology and the dedication of our team. This milestone not only validates our commitment to innovation but also opens doors to exciting partnerships with U.S. food and beverage companies."




Date Published: 28th November 2023

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Note: This content has been edited by a staff writer for style and content.

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