Clara Foods Unveils “First-Ever” Animal-Free Pepsin for Commercial Use

Clara Foods, a San Francisco-based food technology company, has launched the first-ever animal-free bioidentical pepsin for commercial use made without a single animal cell. Clara’s pepsin will be distributed by Ingredion, Clara’s partner for North America. Clara’s next milestone is the commercialization of the world’s first animal-free egg proteins, positioning the company to become the largest egg protein supplier by 2028 and fundamentally transforming the way the world eats, the company reports.

Arturo Elizondo, CEO of Clara Foods says: “As we begin to launch our suite of products, a well-established, global partner like Ingredion provides us with the scale to quickly reach customers with our products across the globe. Consumers and customers alike are looking for healthy, sustainable, more humane options with no trade-off when it comes to functionality. Clara’s breakthrough technology allows us to deliver on the need for safe, consistent, more sustainable animal-free alternatives.”

Brands and applications worldwide that rely on animal-derived pepsin will now have an alternative to use a non-animal derived substitute. “Clara is looking to replace animal-based products with more sustainable options that deliver the same functionality – and with no downside. Pepsin has been used in everything from gummies to creating protein hydrolysates,” explains Elizondo.

Pepsin was the first enzyme to be discovered nearly 200 years ago and has been used in products from chewing gum to popular stomach remedies, and all manner of food applications.

Today it is used as an ingredient in the manufacturing of many modern products consumers ingest daily – and found in the supplement section of almost every pharmacy and grocery store. Before Clara, pepsin had been almost exclusively sourced from pig stomachs, requiring more than 100 pigs to produce 1 kg of porcine pepsin.

The company’s proprietary precision fermentation technology creates an animal-free product with animal-derived pepsin functionality and cost-competitiveness. It also provides added benefits of safe and consistent sourcing, quality control, price stability, and vastly increased sustainability.

The product retains the same functionality users have relied on for centuries – but provides more consistent product purity, safety, and availability when compared to current pepsin supply chain volatility by eliminating common factory shutdowns due to animal disease. The pepsin supply chain has been negatively impacted by periodic outbreaks of swine flu that reduced China’s pig herd by as much as one-third of 100 million pigs in 2019.

As the world’s first animal-free pepsin, Clara’s product is also free from antibiotics and hormones. It is also vegan, kosher, and halal.



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