Those Vegan Cowboys Unveils its First Cheese Made with Microbial Caseins

Those Vegan Cowboys, a Belgian food tech developing animal-free dairy, announces the successful development of its first animal-free product. The company claims it crafted a small cheese using dairy-identical caseins obtained via its precision fermentation process.

“With this cheese, recreating any kind of cow’s milk cheese is now possible.”

The company explains that caseins are milk proteins not found anywhere else in nature but in mammals that provide cheese with its unique qualities.  

It is real, and it is here

Will van der Tweel, the food tech’s lab chief, said: “It has some ripening to do. But it is real, and it is here. It is comparable to ordinary cheese. And yet it is completely free from animal products. With this cheese, recreating any kind of cow’s milk cheese is now possible.”

those vegan cowboys' team in a group picture with their pet, a metal cow called margaret
@ Those Vegan Cowboys

Microbial caseins will revolutionise the dairy industry

Founded in 2020 by former founders of The Vegetarian Butcher Jaap Korteweg and Niko Koffeman, Those Vegan Cowboys aims to make grass-fed dairy products using microbes instead of cows.

Many companies are developing ingredients to make animal-free products. Still, tangible results are sparse, say the founders, who add that “the cheese we now have made from microbial caseins embodies a real milestone that could revolutionise the dairy industry.”

In 2021, the company, which has named its precision fermentation machinery “Margaret” — embodied by a metal cow pet that intends to represent the future of milk without animals — announced it had developed casein from microbes.

a woman holding a wooden board with three animal free cheeses made by those vegan cowboys
© Those Vegan Cowboys

Making the microbes more efficient

Those Vegan Cowboys says that the company’s focus for the next years will be on “fine-tuning” the cheese-making process and working to scale up the production of caseins. Targeting grass-fed microbes for casein production is among its next R&D because agricultural products, including grass, will be ingredients for its fermentation processes.

Jaap Korteweg, Those Vegan Cowboys’ CEO, said: “With a 9th generation farmer as a CEO, our lab is determined to use agricultural products, including grass, as the basis for fermentation to offer dairy farmers an innovation that will help consolidate their business for generations to come.

 “A year ago, the lab cowboys themselves only half believed it could be done. But the lab team worked wonders, and now we have Margaret’s first cheeses. Now it’s a matter of scaling up, making the micro-organisms more efficient – similar to the milk cow. This animal has been pushed to its outer physical limits into giving 10,000 liters of milk per year instead of the natural 1000.”

>> Click here to go to Cultivated X where you will see a familiar layout and a focus solely on content regarding cellular agriculture, including fermentation-enabled products, and with more granular categories.

ClosePlease login
See all bookmarks