If you know anything about Perfect Day, you'll know a little something about microflora. No worries if not, we're going to tell you all about it anyway.
At Perfect Day, their microflora, or flora for short, is the star of the show — the key ingredient to making our animal-free dairy products.
Merriam-Webster defines the terms flora and microflora this way: 1, 2
Have you heard or an organism before? Well it's any organic, living system that functions as an individual entity, with the ability to grow and reproduce. A microorganism is exactly the same thing, just a microscopic version. We use our microflora in our fermentation process, which you can learn more about here.
Let's talk about Organisms
There are six biological kingdoms in which living organisms are grouped into (see below). Humans are classed as Animalia (or animal).
- Plants — multicellular organisms that predominantly use photosynthesis to make energy for growth and reproduce both sexually and asexually.
- Animals — multicellular organisms that consume organic material, breathe oxygen, can move, and reproduce sexually.
- Fungi — can be either single-celled or multicellular. Fungi acquire energy through either symbiosis with plants or from their environment. Many fungi externally secrete digestive enzymes (proteins that speed up chemical reactions) and then absorb broken down nutrients. Fungi can reproduce both sexually and asexually.
- Bacteria — these single-celled organisms were among the first life forms to appear on earth and are present in almost every habitat on earth today. Bacteria reproduce via cell division.
- Archaea — similar to bacteria, they reproduce asexually, but they can gain energy many sources: organic compounds, ammonia, metal ions, hydrogen gas, and sunlight. They are considered one of the earliest forms of life on earth.
- Protists — microscopic organisms, usually single-celled, that don’t fit into any of the other kingdoms. Protists include some algae and some amoebae.
There are different types of microflora in every kingdom and they can all be useful to us in one way or another. Microflora is an umbrella term that is referring to all microorganisms we can use from across kingdoms. As humans, we like to use organisms in a way that best benefits our needs. Our fermentation process is another way of doing this.
You might have heard of fermentation before when talking about beer, kimchi or sour dough bread. The traditional process has altered many foods and beverages throughout the years and expanded our palettes massively.
In the modern age, biotechnology is a key component to the fermentation process and has taken natural, traditional methods and turned them into something amazing. By choosing precision fermentation, the Perfect Day team are able to put our microflora in the perfect environment, adjust the conditions and achieve our desired outcome, milk proteins.3
Precision fermentation has been used in the food industry to make ingredients such as vitamins, probiotics, and food additives but it's capabilities don't stop there. It is also a major player in the medical industry, helping to create medication such as insulin which is an market size expected to reach $27.71 billion by 2026.4
Dairy proteins and fats come from cows, or so they have in the past. At California Performance, we want to create a more sustainable future for the sports nutrition industry, made without any animal impact. The sports nutrition industry uses cows to create their whey protein, we use Perfect Day's microflora.
So yeah, that's milk without cows, specifically whey protein. Sounds crazy right? We promise it's not.
All about Fungus
You might be thinking "ew fungus!" but rest assured, it's totally not gross. The fungus we use for making our whey protein is extremely good at producing animal proteins, we only want the best.
The fungus was found to be successful for making bioproducts when soldiers during World War II began questioning why holes kept appearing in their clothes. Their curiosity lead them to a fungus that produces a protein well-known for decomposing cloth.5
The protein that the fungus was creating is known as cellulase. Once scientist caught wind of this, they knew that with some guidance, care and expertise, the possibilities for producing other proteins were endless.
What organism do the team use? A multicellular, filamentous fungus.
This fungus is capable of rapid expansion, making it the perfect partner for protein production. The team can tweak the fungal strain using a process called strain engineering — meaning the fungus will now do whatever they want it to.
This process is intricate and requires a lot of knowledge. The team at Perfect Day have strain engineers that will use a specifically developed strain that is good at accepting and listening to instructions. This will mean the fungus is quick to produce the proteins we want.
A sustainable future
At California Performance we're extremely confident that we can make a positive change and treat the environment with the respect it deserves. Perfect Day's microflora is allowing us to remove cows from the process and create an animal-free future for whey protein. A change we have been waiting so long for.
Microflora has the potential to complete change the sports and dairy industry. It doesn't have to stop there, microflora could transform the way we feed the world. There are still so many things we can do with microflora to come. They have the capabilities to turn carbohydrates from plants into high-value, nutritious proteins, fats, and many other useful substances.
In the past we have always depended on animals for protein, but in the modern day, many people are wanting to change their habits and go animal-free. Microflora is just one way you're able to make this change. Choose California Performance for a sustainable future.
Microflora — small but mighty.
Shop all flavors of V-Whey protein here.
1. Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Flora. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flora
2. Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Microflora. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microflora
3. Specht, Liz and Crosser, Nate (2020). State of the industry report — Fermentation: An introduction to a pillar of the alternative protein industry. The Good Food Institute.
4.Human Insulin Market Size, Share, Growth | Global Forecast, 2026 (fortunebusinessinsights.com
5. Bischof, Robert H. et al. (2016). Cellulases and beyond: The first 79 years... . Microbial Cell Factories 15(1), 106. doi.org/10.1186/s12934-016-0507-6