June 27, 2023
From Vegconomist
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Sustainable plant-based ingredients specialist Fooditive Group announces that after successful manufacturing trials, it can manufacture larger volumes of vegan casein to supply European customers. 

Using a proprietary bacterial strain developed through gene synthesis and leveraging precision fermentation, the Dutch company produces casein that is genetically identical to dairy but completely animal-free. Fooditive’s vegan casein suits multiple applications, including dairy products and plant-based meat.

Moayad Abushokhedim, CEO and founder of Fooditive, commented: “As our trials reach a successful completion, Fooditive stands on the cusp of scaling up production of our vegan casein to cater to the needs of our European clientele.

With this enhanced production process, we are poised to expand our offerings and meet the growing demand for sustainable and affordable dairy alternatives.”

vegan casein using fermentation
© Fooditive Group

Seeking partners to achieve commercialization

Since Fooditive’s vegan casein is considered a novel ingredient, it must secure approval in the European Union before commercialization. To accomplish this goal and expand its market reach, the Dutch company announced that it is looking to collaborate with other companies to jointly develop a new wave of sustainable and nutritious plant-based dairy products.

 “At Fooditive, we firmly believe in the transformative power of partnerships and the profound market impact they can foster. With an imminent need to acquire Novel Food approval in the EU before we proceed, we are actively hoping to collaborate with a partner who shares our commitment to sustainability and innovation,” said Abushokhedim.

Fooditive has already developed numerous vegan alternatives to ingredients that are usually animal-based. Last year, the company unveiled a vegan honey made by copying the DNA of conventional honey and using fermentation enzymes. In March, the food tech venture fund Sparkalis acquired a minority stake in Fooditive, appointing Filip Arnaut as a new member of the company’s advisory board. 

Climax Reveals Plant-Based Casein
© Climax Foods

In 2021, Fooditive unveiled its vegan casein, claiming it was the first to be available for applications in the food industry. Initially, the protein was produced from yeast, but now it is made using a unique bacterial strain developed through gene synthesis.

According to Fooditive, using a bacterial strain offers several advantages, including improved scalability, efficiency, cost optimization, and safety, without compromising quality or taste. 

Who else is making cruelty-free casein?

Other companies developing animal-free casein include: 

Climax Foods: Combines artificial intelligence with a proprietary formulation process to develop what it claims to be the “first-ever” seed-based protein replicating the functional performance (melts and stretches ) of milk casein.

Zero Cow Factory: A biotechnology startup from India that produces precision fermentation proteins: whey and casein. According to the company, it can produce A2 Beta- casein commercially.

an animal-free fresh cheese made with microbial caseins on a wooden board with nuts and rosemary.
© Those Vegan Cowboys

Pigmentum: This Israel-based startup produces plant-based functional casein for the new wave of animal-free dairy. It uses plants as factories instead of microorganisms or tissues. The method eliminates the capex barriers to scaling precision fermentation operations but involves genetic manipulation — another challenge for food approval in the EU.

Those Vegan Cowboys: A Belgian food tech developing dairy-identical caseins obtained via microbes and proprietary precision fermentation. The company targets grass-fed microbes because agricultural products, including grass, will be ingredients for its fermentation processes.

ProProtein: A female-driven Estonian alt-dairy startup on its journey to produce at-scale cow-free proteins from yeast using precision fermentation.

“By leveraging the advantages of our bacterial strain, we have further solidified our position as a leading player in the plant-based food industry, dedicated to driving positive change and revolutionizing the way we consume and enjoy food,” comments Abushokhedim.




Source: Vegconomist.com