“Precision fermentation is here to define a more sustainable, delicious path for the alternative protein industry,” says Matt Gibson, co-founder and CEO of California’s New Culture.
Founded in 2019, New Culture is “revolutionizing how cheese is made by combining traditional cheesemaking methods with modern fermentation technology”, a process that Gibson asserts has been used for decades and is already used to make products in nearly every aisle of the grocery store.
Precision Fermentation: The Future of the Alternative Protein Industry
By Matt Gibson, CEO and co-Founder, New Culture
In mid-November 2022, the global human population reached 8.0 billion from an estimated 2.5 billion people in 1950, adding 1 billion people since 2010 and 2 billion since 1998. This is causing the global demand for meat to grow; meat production has more than tripled over the past 50 years.
At this rate, the population is only going to grow more and more which is going to create even more demand for meat and animal byproducts. This is where precision fermentation comes in, a mechanism for filling a solution for supporting scale to feed the population.
Precision fermentation has been around for decades, and is used in dozens, if not hundreds, of products we interact with every day. It has been a phenomenal technology for efficiency, sustainability, ethical standards and reduction of costs.
Precision fermentation has received a lot of buzz over the last year as a transformative way to develop alternatives to proteins that typically come from animals, the field has attracted significant investment, $1.7 billion in 2021 alone, for alternative protein production.
Products that are coming to market using this technology include everything from cheese, milk, animal fat, collagen, honey, fish, eggs and more. Precision fermentation is here to define a more sustainable, delicious path for the alternative protein industry.
The process of making cheese requires the greatest amount of water of any food product. For example, to make a single block of cheese takes more than 30 bathtubs of fresh water. In addition, cheese is the third worst food product for greenhouse gas emissions. The admission is equivalent to nearly 28 pounds of coal burned per block of cheese and land use is close to nearly 90 m2 of land per block of cheese.
By making a switch to using precision fermentation to make cheese, like New Culture does, cuts down on water, land and energy usage by up to 90% and massively reduces greenhouse gas emissions. With a completely animal-free process, companies are able to minimize alternative proteins’ environmental footprint so that consumers can enjoy delicious products while doing right by the planet.
Let’s face it, when you look at the current landscape of the vegan alternative protein market, most of the products are nothing like the original. Despite widespread recognition in the industry, the product offerings simply haven’t caught up. The products are compromised in taste and texture and often filled with ingredients that lack nutritional value.
Precision fermentation sets a new standard, the process allows for companies to target specific functional ingredients to produce products that are the real deal. For example, New Culture uses the technology to make animal-free casein protein, which is the crucial ingredient that is responsible for making cheese, cheesy. It’s a unique protein that is only found in animal milk and nowhere else in the natural world, until now. Without casein, the cheese will not stretch, melt, bubble or brown, which is crucial in the cheese-eating experience.
New Culture is revolutionizing how cheese is made by using precision fermentation. We are forging a healthier, kinder, more sustainable food system. We are the only company that has proven the ability to efficiently produce animal-free casein at-scale, which is critical to drive down cost, unlock broad distribution, and succeed in our mission. By building up our cheese from animal-free casein protein, we have the ability to control and design the cheese to meet the needs of all consumers.
“We are forging a healthier, kinder, more sustainable food system”
Taste and texture are important for converting mainstream dairy consumers over, but our cheese also will be accessible to populations with constrained diets. Free from lactose, New Culture cheese opens the door for the two-thirds of the global population that is lactose intolerant. Our cheese also provides a dairy option to those consumers who seek to avoid cholesterol.
All animal-derived cheeses contain cholesterol, sometimes in rather large quantities, whereas New Culture’s cheese is 100% cholesterol free. Unlike conventional cheeses, ours is free from trace amounts of hormones, antibiotics, and other unwanted residuals left in animal-derived cheese products that are the result of animal farming.
“Any cheese is possible, and can be made animal-free”
With our breakthrough advancement of animal-free casein commercial production, the world becomes our oyster. Any cheese is possible, and can be made animal-free using our first-of-its-kind casein protein.
Customers will be able to try New Culture’s cow-free cheese in pizzerias starting in 2024. For more information, or to sign up to receive updates, go to: www.NewCulture.com