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Making Honey Without the Busy-Bee Workforce

Animals May No Longer be Required to Make Any Animal-Originated Products, Even Honey

Vegan products are 100% free from any animal products, typically plant-derived alternatives, whether it’s actual food derived from them such as milk and cheese, or its participation of animals in testing products. When it comes to edibles, there has always been this gap between the natural and manufactured alternatives, but the latest innovations promise to build a bridge over the space.

Utilizing the process of fermentation, there has been new potential realized for vegan alternatives for meat and dairy products, as well as a classic ingredient everyone enjoys; honey. This process takes one substance and breaks it down into smaller substances. The easiest example to explain through is yeast. Yeast is broken down to create beer, wine, bread, and more. By adjusting the structure of yeast, many different things can be developed synthetically from it.

Credit: bbc.com

This brings us to a wonderful development for the food industry; vegan honey. MeliBio, a start-up company, is developing a honey formula by manipulating microorganisms to create glucose and fructose, thus creating the framework of natural honey. This project is successful, it removes the requirement to use beehives and farming to attain honey.

MeliBio has developed a formula that replicates honey and intends to commence trading at the end of the year. They are not going to sell their honey separately, but rather to other businesses to be used as a recipe. They have already attained signed letters of consent from 15 companies in cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food, and beverages.

Credit: bbc.com

MeliBio isn’t the only start-up company to emerge in pursuit of more vegan-friendly options. Companies such as Better Dairy and Clara Foods have also invested in the fermentation approach to manufacturing animal-derived alternatives. Better Dairy is a London-based start-up business that aims at making milk and cheese alternatives that come from no animal. They are going to commence trade with restaurant chains to encourage vegan ingredients in meals.  

Clara Foods produces egg whites, hoping to become an international leader by 2028. This company is based in San Francisco where they once again utilize fermentation to create egg whites that are usable for vegans. They even claim that their product can compete and succeed natural egg whites in terms of taste and quality.

Credit: bbc.com

This new development of friendlier foods poses more benefits than simply being vegan. The recorded greenhouse gas contribution from the meat and dairy industries reaches up to 14.5% of total global ratings. This can immensely be brought down with safer manufacturing methods and meat and dairy alternatives.

Creating alternate edibles which do not require animal produce begins to bring some questions under light, such as whether or not these new ingredients can be classified as the same as their natural counterparts. Can MeliBio’s new honey be considered the same as natural bee-derived honey, or is a new label required to differentiate the two?

If we can manipulate the chemical construction of yeast to make foods, then isn’t it possible to take out harmful and health-damaging compounds while still retaining flavor and consistency? Is it possible to create synthetic and healthier foods while maintaining the benefits natural food has to offer? The floor is open to discussion as of yet, and the innovative discoveries are what seems to be right around the corner. One thing is for sure, bees can finally get a well-deserved break from being humanity’s honey service.

Reported By: Zarrish

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