Singapore biotech company TurtleTree has announced production of LF+, the world’s ﬁrst sustainable bovine lactoferrin created using precision fermentation technology.
A key part of the company’s ongoing work with cultivated dairy, precision fermentation uses microbial hosts for the mass production of ingredients. Compared to traditional methods, precision fermentation offers far greater efficiency and volume, enabling viable production at commercial scale.
In pioneering the use of this technology for lactoferrin and its inclusion in food, TurtleTree said it will now accelerate its development efforts for LF+ in order to achieve a commercial launch in 2023.
TurtleTree chief strategist, Max Rye, said: “Looking at recent events like the infant formula shortage in the US and the disruptions in food supply arising from COVID-19, we felt that we could no longer sit on the sidelines. With LF+, we see a way to contribute towards better nutrition in the here and now while our longer-term dairy projects remain in the pipeline. The hope is to ultimately take a proactive approach in creating the world we want to see and genuinely make a difference during a time of need.”
The company’s chief scientific officer, Aletta Schnitzler, said: “Lactoferrin is one of the key ingredients that gives human milk its uniquely beneficial properties. From immune support to gut health, lactoferrin has been shown to provide an extensive list of health-related benefits.”
Modulating immune response
In a 2022 review, researchers from Poland highlighted a function of lactoferrin as a guardian of the human genome, capable of modulating cell cycle activity and DNA repair. This adds to a growing volume of scientific literature that has already shown lactoferrin’s ability to modulate immune responses and regulate iron absorption, among other properties.
Having already made ground with regulators, investors, and industry, TurtleTree said it will now look for new opportunities with commercial partners as it works towards getting LF+ to market.
TurtleTree CEO, Fengru Lin, said: “The sustainable production of lactoferrin through precision fermentation is a perfect ﬁt for our mission of nourishing both the planet and its people. To be able to produce this remarkable ingredient at commercial scale—in a way that’s both environmentally and economically viable over the long-term—is an absolute game-changer. It means new possibilities for adult nutrition, athletic supplementation, and mothers who want the best nutrition for their families. The possibilities are endless, and we can’t wait to bring this vision to reality.”