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EP&C and Time Travelling Milkman: working sustainably on creamy dairy products 

EP&C really likes working with companies that contribute to a better world and Time Travelling Milkman (TTM) is a good example of such a company. It began with research into oil droplets at Wageningen University. The result: a plant-based substitute for cream in dairy products.

The Time Travelling Milkman

Soft dairy with less environmental impact

The oil from milk fat droplets is used to make soft dairy products like ice cream creamy. Unfortunately, this creamy texture comes at a high price. Obtaining the oil is an intensive process with a big environmental impact. TTM came up with a solution for this and EP&C helped them to protect the intellectual property.

Saskia Tersteeg, co-founder of TTM explains: “We use European sunflower seeds and water for our cream substitute. That’s all it takes. The process involved in making the oil is a very gentle one, using low pressure and low temperatures. It is short and does not involve any solvents. On top of that less land is needed to grow sunflower seeds. CO2 emissions from this process are about six times lower than in the case of oil from milk droplets."

From soft to hard

TTM's oil is currently used mainly for soft dairy alternatives. If it were up to Saskia and her colleagues it would be used in even more products in the future. "We want to see if it is also suitable for harder dairy products, such as cheese and butter. Or perhaps for powdered ingredients used for meat substitutes. Our product has a great deal of potential but the ingredients industry is not yet used to natural oil droplets. Fortunately we are seeing a shift towards a whole foods mentality which is more focussed on natural ingredients. We welcome this. Our ambition is to make our product accessible to consumers."

Patent made it possible

According to Saskia, TTM's success is partly due to the patent. "Our Patent Attorney Mark Jolink has a great deal of technical knowledge and that has been helpful for us. He provides a good link between the technology and the way you put this into words in a patent. That's a whole different language in itself, which we don't fully understand."

Wageningen University applied for a patent even before the startup took over. This helped get the initial funding. TTM now owns this patent and continues to develop the product. EP&C helped them to properly protect both the process and the product by filing a patent application. This protection makes the startup attractive for investors and increases its value. Patent attorney Mark Jolink says: "It is great to work with an innovative company and help them move forward. TTM has an ambitious team and they developed great propositions to make plant-based products creamier in a sustainable way. We enjoyed writing their patent applications and will continue to assist them in the future to protect this great product."

EP&C contributes to the future

At EP&C it is about more than just patents. We want to use our expertise to contribute to a healthy future and a better world. That is why we are committed to sustainable initiatives. Time Travelling Milkman's oil droplets is an example of such an initiative, as are Rival Foods' meat substitute and social firm Tworby’s bicycle conversion kit. The better we look after people and the environment now, the longer we can continue to do what we love: work with forward-thinking entrepreneurs.

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Associate Partner,
Dutch & European Patent Attorney