Biohackers Working on Making Vegan Cheese That Actually Tastes Good

Biohackers are using genetically-engineered yeast to produce vegan cheese that would taste like the real thing.
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Biohackers are using genetically-engineered yeast to produce vegan cheese that would taste like the real thing.
vegan cheese

Photo Credit: iGEM Indiegogo

A team of Oakland-based biohackers are working toward producing a type of vegan cheese that would be identical to cow's cheese, by using yeast that has been genetically modified. 

The team is called the San Francisco Bay Area iGEM Team, and they operate at the Counter Culture Labs and BioCurious. Their goal is to have real-tasting vegan cheese by October. 

"I think the finished product is going to taste like Gouda," said Craig Rouskey, one of the team members.

The team is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund their project. At the time of writing this, they are very close to their goal of $15,000. With the funding, they say they could have a non-FDA-approved cheese by the end of the year. It will be considered "not for human consumption" until it is approved. 

"We're taking genetic sequence from milk protein from cow DNA and producing cheese protein genes that function in yeast," the team said in their launch video. "We then insert the cheese protein genes to living yeast cells. The genetically modified yeast will produce cheese protein as it grows, and raw cheese protein can then be extracted and separated from the yeast."

Learn more about Real Vegan Cheese in the video below.