New Culture team shot

© New Culture

New Culture: “With Our Groundbreaking Science, Any Cheese is Possible and Can Be Made Completely Animal-Free”

Californian animal-free cheese producer New Culture revealed an impressive milestone last month, significantly upscaling its precision fermentation platform, managing to successfully produce enough animal-free casein in a single run to make enough vegan mozzarella for 25,000 pizzas. Since our last interview back in 2019, the startup has received backing from Kraft Heinz, ADM, and biotech giant CJ CheilJedang, for its innovative platform. It was time to catch up with CEO and co-founder Matt Gibson to hear more about New Culture’s string of success. What is New Culture’s mission or long-term goal?  New Culture’s mission and long-term goal is to lead the global change to an animal-free dairy future. We’re revolutionizing how cheese is made with our animal-free dairy products that stretch, melt, and taste like …


Precision fermentation egg products by Formo

© Formo

Formo to Launch “New Class of Products” With Precision Fermentation Eggs

A peer-reviewed study conducted by Formo in partnership with Singapore Management University has found considerable demand for precision fermentation eggs, as the company prepares to launch what it describes as a “new class of products”. Through its existing protein production platform, which is already used to produce precision fermentation dairy proteins, Formo will use bio-designed microbes to make animal-free eggs. Since fermented proteins have a precedent of consumption in the EU, they are not considered a novel food, meaning Formo could introduce its first fermented egg products as early as this year. Curiosity The study surveyed over 3,000 consumers from Germany, the US, and Singapore, finding that a majority (51-61%) would be willing to try the products across all three countries. German consumers were predominantly …


Tempeh Today, Schouten Food

© Schouten Food

Tempeh Today and Marel India Partner to Install Small-Scale Tempeh Fermentation Units

Henk Schouten, the CEO of plant-based protein company Schouten Europe, launched Tempeh Today in India in 2021, aiming to establish 100 small-scale fermentation units (SFUs) for tempeh production within five years. To reach these goals, CFSS B.V., the company behind Tempeh Today in India, and Marel India Pvt. Ltd. have announced a strategic partnership to boost tempeh production and continue to offer a sustainable solution for proteins in India. Marel India is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marel, an international company that provides high-quality equipment, solutions, services, and software for the food processing industry.  Small and micro units for tempeh “The collaboration with Marel is a crucial next step in rolling out the concept. I am thrilled that Marel is supporting this initiative, and I look forward to our future …


The Eastman Business Park

© Eastman Business Park

LiDestri Foods and Fermentum Establish “First” Commercial Scale Precision Fermentation Plant in the US

LiDestri Foods and Drinks, the largest private label and food contract manufacturer in the US, and Fermentum, a leading fermentation capacity expert, have announced a joint venture to solve the bottleneck for precision fermentation capacity and support the growth of industrial biotechnology in the country. As part of the collaboration, LiDestri Foods will provide Fermentum $8.5 million in financing for leasing and construction. Fermentum will run a facility at Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY, with 510 thousand liters of precision fermentation capacity and robust commercial scale downstream processing already installed.  The site, which is operational and available immediately, has the necessary equipment, including tank capacities ranging from 400 L, 20 thousand, and 70 thousand liters, to scale ingredients from the lab to pilot and commercial scale fermentation. According …


MATR Foods meat alternatives made via fungal fermentation

© MATR Foods

MATR Foods Uses Fungal Fermentation & Upcycled Veg to Make “New Generation” of Alt Meats

MATR Foods is a Danish startup producing sustainable meat alternatives via fungal fermentation. Made with just five ingredients — oats, split peas, lupin, beetroot, and potatoes — the products are described as a “new generation” of plant-based food. The ingredients used are organic, upcycled, and sourced from Danish farms. To transform them into meat alternatives, MATR adds natural fungi spores, which ferment the ingredients to give an umami flavor and firm bite. The resulting products are low in calories and high in fibre, with no additives. Success in European markets MATR’s product range includes plant-based steak, mince, and a block that can be cut into any shape. The meat alternatives have already launched at Sticks N’Sushi in the UK, Denmark, and Germany as part of …


Animal-free milk products by Bon Vivant

© Bon Vivant

Study: Animal-Free Milk Generates 96% Fewer Emissions Than Dairy

A life-cycle assessment (LCA) has concluded that Bon Vivant‘s animal-free milk uses significantly fewer natural resources than cow’s milk and has a much smaller environmental footprint. The milk is made with animal-free whey and casein, which are produced using precision fermentation. The LCA, performed by an independent third party, compared one liter of animal-free milk made with Bon Vivant’s whey to an equivalent amount of dairy milk that had the same amount of protein. Huge environmental benefits The results show that Bon Vivant’s milk generates 96% fewer emissions than cow’s milk, while using 99% less water, 92% less land, and 50% less energy. According to Bon Vivant, the dairy sector is responsible for 2.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions — more than aviation. Consequently, a …


Bag of onions

©Joanna Stołowicz on Unsplash

Fermented Onions Unlock Natural ‘Meaty’ Flavors in Plant-Based Alternatives

Plant-based meat alternatives have gained popularity among consumers seeking to reduce their meat consumption. However, replicating the savory flavors and aromas of traditional meat has posed a significant challenge, often requiring the use of synthetic additives.  A recent study published in the ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a nonprofit organization chartered by the US Congress, presents a promising solution: the fermentation of onions, chives, and leeks with common fungi to naturally recreate meat-like scents and flavors. Synthetic vs. natural To make plant-based meat alternatives taste more like real meat, manufacturers frequently incorporate precursor ingredients found in meat that transform into flavor agents during cooking. These flavorings are typically prepared synthetically or through chemical processes, preventing them from being labeled as “natural” in many …


An AI generated image of microbes

© Solar Foods

European Innovation Council Funds Solar Foods-Led Consortium Creating Milk Protein from CO2 and Electricity

From over 400 contesting teams, a research consortium led by Finnish company Solar Foods to produce sustainable milk protein from CO2 and electricity has been selected by the European Innovation Council’s Pathfinder Challenge 2022.  The challenge, which seeks cutting-edge research projects that could achieve breakthroughs in their respective fields, will invest €5.5 million in the consortium’s four-year HYDROCOW project. Solar Foods will work with the University of Groningen, RWTH Aachen University, and FGen AG, a subsidiary of Ginkgo Bioworks, to develop a novel biotechnology platform independent from agriculture and photosynthesis, to create sustainable food, materials, medicines, and chemical production.  A groundbreaking technology HYDROCOW aims to develop a carbon-neutral system by genetically modifying hydrogen-oxidizing microbes to produce beta-lactoglobulin using CO2 and electricity instead of traditional fermentation solutions that use agricultural feedstocks …


Jonathan Goshen, CEO of Yeap and an employee

© Yeap

Israel’s Yeap Receives Investment from Fermentation Expert Lessafre for Upcycled Yeast Proteins

Israeli startup Yeap announces that Lessafre, a global player in fermentation-derived products, has made a 10% investment in the company to introduce proteins made from upcycled spent yeast to the plant-based market. Yeap was founded by cultivated meat pioneer Didier Toubia, CEO of Aleph Farms, Dominik Grabinski, and Jonathan Goshen, CEO of Yeap, to develop sustainable proteins incorporating a circular economy model. Its shareholders include The Kitchen Hub by Strauss and AgFunder. The company already has several products in the pipeline and is a member of the Upcycled Food Association. Through the new partnership, Lessafre will assist Yeap in completing the development of these proteins made from upcycled yeast. Biospringer by Lesaffre, a leading producer of natural food ingredients extracted from yeast and other microorganisms, will oversee the collaboration. “The product under …



© Fotortec

Chilean Biotech Fotortec Partners with Sustainable Firms to Introduce Food Waste Upcycling Technology in Sweden

Chilean biotech Fotortec announces a partnership with Swedish consultancy firms A Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB to introduce its innovative food waste upcycling technology and mushroom-based ingredients into the Swedish market.  Fotortec aims to redefine waste by repurposing food waste or by-products into new and valuable items. The company has developed a scalable technology for cultivating mushrooms using food waste. These mushrooms can be transformed into beneficial ingredients, including flavor enhancers, protein isolates, fertilizer, energy-boosting methane gas, animal feed, and raw materials suitable for packaging. The company franchises its technology to third parties and this collaboration marks Fotortec’s expansion into the Nordics. Better Future AB and Xylo Sweden AB will represent Fotortec in Sweden, promoting sustainable and circular solutions for the region, aligning with their sustainable future goals. “This …


Future Foods installs fermentations units near farms to transform food waste into high-protein food

© Future Foods

Future Foods Reveals Protein Fermentation Units to Combat Food Waste

Future Foods, which has been working on a trade secret micro fermentation unit, has officially launched its website and services, revealing an innovative strategy to reduce food waste and develop high-quality protein food and animal feed. Dr. Darren Burke, a science-based entrepreneur and the visionary behind Future Foods, claims he has developed fermentation protocols that transform “cosmetically rejected” vegetables into valuable food products to empower the next generation of sustainable farmers. Calling its solution “from farm to ferment,” Future Foods provides farmers with micro fermentation units, installed in upcycled shipping containers, fully equipped with everything needed to turn discarded vegetables into alternative protein. The company describes it as a simple, convenient, and sustainable solution to address food waste, greenhouse gas emissions, and the economic struggles …


Jim Laird (CEO) and Elaine Ferguson (CFO).

Jim Laird (CEO) and Elaine Ferguson (CFO) - Image courtesy of ENOUGH

ENOUGH Secures €40M to Scale Production of Mycoprotein to Meet Demand for Sustainable Proteins

Food tech company ENOUGH announces it has raised €40 million in funding to increase the production of its mycoprotein ingredient ABUNDA to meet the growing demand for sustainable proteins. This new funding brings the total capital raised by ENOUGH to over €95 million.  Based in The Netherlands and the UK, ENOUGH currently has a team of 56 employees. With the new injection of capital, the company also aims to double its workforce in Glasgow, London, and Sas van Gent.  The round was co-led by World Fund, a European climate tech VC, and previous investor CPT Capital. Axa Impact Fund (AXA IM Alts), 280ppm (HAL Investments), Olympic Investments Inc. (Onassis Group), Tailored Solutions, and Scottish Enterprise also backed ENOUGH in this round. “The alternative protein market is a …


Vegan Egg White

© The Every Co.

Making Food with Microbes: Precision Fermentation Market to Reach $34.9 billion by 2031

Growing investments in precision fermentation and the increasing demand and preference for animal-free dairy, meat, and ingredients are contributing to the growth (reported to be at an incredible CAGR of 40.5%) and expansion of this technology into the F&B, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries. The reason for the excitement toward this technology is its potential to produce superior-quality proteins at a lower cost compared to animal-based alternatives. It allows the development of animal-free versions of cheese, ice cream, honey, meat, and other well-loved foods, attracting interest from investors and entrepreneurs. Additionally, precision fermentation could minimize the environmental impact of food and ingredients production, as it reduces animal farming and its carbon footprint, helping to fight the climate crisis. Moreover, since it’s an indoor method, it eliminates …


Imagindairy secures self-affirmed GRAS status for animal-free dairy proteins

© Tal Shahar

Imagindairy Obtains Self-Affirmed GRAS Status in the US for Animal-Free Protein, Inaugurates Headquarters

Israeli-based food tech startup Imagindairy announces that its animal-free whey protein has obtained the US self-affirmed GRAS status (generally recognized as safe) in accordance with FDA requirements. Receiving GRAS status means Imagindairy’s animal-free whey protein is considered safe for use in food and beverages. This regulatory approval opens opportunities for new collaborations with companies looking to enter into the animal-free dairy space in the US. Furthermore, it signifies a pivotal step for the commercialization of its ingredients. New headquarters Imagindairy also announces the opening of its new and improved headquarters near Haifa, Israel. The space has been custom-designed to support the company in its next growth phase. Besides the new offices, the new location features a state-of-the-art laboratory for the R&D of ingredient solutions and …


New Culture's animal-free casein reaches milestone scale

Image credit: New Culture

New Culture is “Redefining the Boundaries of What’s Possible in Dairy” with Significant Upscaling of Animal-Free Mozzarella

California startup New Culture announces that it has successfully increased the production of its precision fermentation platform to a much larger scale and additionally has achieved a reduction of 80% in product cost. According to the company, it has managed to produce enough animal-free casein in a single run to make cheese for 25,000 pizzas. Founded in 2019, New Culture makes animal-free mozzarella by combining traditional cheese-making methods and casein proteins derived from precision fermentation. The company debuted its revolutionary cheese in June at Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles — where New Culture’s mozzarella will officially launch in 2024 before expanding to other pizzerias nationwide.  New Culture has received financial support from companies, including Kraft Heinz, ADM, and biotech giant CJ CheilJedang, to develop further its innovative …


Clean Food Group raises funds

Image credit: Clean Food Group

Clean Food Group Raises £2.3M to Scale Pioneering Alternative to Palm Oil

UK-based biotech firm Clean Food Group (CFG) announces it has raised £2.3 million in funding to accelerate the commercialization of oil and fats produced using fermentation. The new capital will also fund regulatory and commercial approvals. The round was led by international food businesses, including the Doehler Group, which previously invested in CFG, and Colombian company Alianza Team. Previous investors include the biotech VC firm Agronomics and SEED Innovations, the AIM-listed fund focused on investments in global health opportunities. Agronomics previously invested £900,500 in CFG in June 2022. And in this round, it injected £700,000, acquiring 4.2 million shares. Jim Mellon, the executive director of Agronomics and co-chair of CFG, participated in this round with a £50,000 investment.  The international investment in this round signals that …


Vivici cow logo

© Vivici

Netherlands-Based Vivici Closes Seed Round to Bring Animal-Free Dairy Proteins to Market

Newcomer Vivici B.V., a Dutch B2B ingredients company, announces it has successfully closed its seed funding round to bring to market animal-free animal-free dairy proteins made with precision fermentation, with strategic support from founding investors dsm-firmenich Venturing and Fonterra.   Headquartered at the Biotech Campus Delft and a dairy protein application lab in the Food Valley at NIZO food research, leveraging the Netherlands’ network and access to scale-up facilities and talent, the company draws on the founders’ experience in developing and scaling bioprocesses. Fonterra Chief Innovation & Brand Officer Komal Mistry-Mehta, says: “Vivici is an exciting opportunity to combine dsm-firmenich’s world-leading precision fermentation expertise with Fonterra’s world-leading dairy science and technology.”     Vivici was incorporated in December 2022 to bring animal-free dairy proteins to …


microbial protein Formo cheese gratin

© Formo

Study Finds Animal-Free Cheese Could Capture 33% of Market and Go Mainstream

New research on consumer demand for animal-free cheese in the UK conducted by German precision fermentation company Formo in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan in Canada reveals promising figures for the nascent category and its capacity to disrupt the dairy industry. The study shows that at price parity, animal-free cheese has the potential to share 33% of the UK cheese market. Moreover, figures suggest that if demand grows and technologies improve, the market share could increase significantly, and the products could become mainstream. The study suggests that 79% of the precision fermentation cheese market will come from traditional cheese consumers. But while the industry lowers production costs to reach the same prices as conventional cheese, what is the market’s potential? Study findings show that at a premium …


MycoTechnology unveils sweet protein that can replace sugar and artificial sweeteners

© Getty Images (supplied by MycoTechnology)

MycoTechnology Discovers Sweet Protein in Fungi, Unlocking the Future of Sweeteners

US company MycoTechnology, a leader in mycelial fermentation and ingredient innovation, announces that it has discovered a sweet protein derived from honey truffles. MycoTechnology claims that this new protein can be used to make a clean-label sweetener that can replace sugar and artificial sweeteners in many applications. Honey truffles, a rare member of the fungi kingdom found mainly in Hungary, have been eaten and appreciated for their sweetness for centuries; however, the origin of their taste was previously unclear. Using its platform, MycoTechnology has found a way to unlock the truffle’s secret, successfully isolating the molecule responsible for its unusual taste. “Our honey truffle sweetener is derived from a protein, which brings an unprecedented level of excitement as proteins are widely recognized as the future …


Calysta "protein without limits"

© Calysta

Calysta Uses Methane to Make Plant and Animal-Free “Protein Without Limits”

Based in California, Calysta is a biotech firm using a patented fermentation platform to produce what it describes as “protein without limits”. The process involves using microorganisms to convert methane into single-cell proteins. It is powered by renewable energy and does not require any plant or animal inputs, meaning no arable land is used. Water and energy consumption are also far lower than for conventional proteins. Calysta’s products are intended to help meet the world’s growing demand for sustainable proteins, improving food security while preserving biodiversity. The company initially focused on producing food for fish, livestock, and pets, but has now developed a product called Positive Protein for use in human foods. Positive Protein is described as highly nutritious, with the best possible digestibility rating …