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NewMoo Introduces Plant-Based Caseins for Sustainable Cheese Production

Courtesy: NewMoo
Courtesy: NewMoo

Food-tech start-up NewMoo, makes its debut in the 'happy cow' space by using plant molecular farming (PMF) to produce casein proteins for making cheese. Caseins comprise about 80% of the proteins in dairy milk. The resulting product allows cheesemakers to deliver the same genuine cheese experience as traditional dairy cheese via a cost-effective, animal-free, and sustainable pathway. Until now, cheese alternatives have struggled to offer consumers the real cheese experience, nutrition, and price. Cheese analogs do not contain the key dairy proteins, caseins, necessary to precisely recreate the sensory properties of dairy cheese.


Creating dairy, without the cow


The scientists at NewMoo discovered a way to express casein proteins in plant seeds that can grow abundantly through traditional field agriculture. After three years of stealth, NewMoo unveils proteins that match dairy proteins in nutrition, composition, and function.


The start-up's technology and concept are built on exclusive research and intellectual property derived at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Rehovot, Israel. The innovation allows for the expression of two or more caseins within a single plant via a novel approach to plant molecular farming. The seeds are then sown in outdoor fields. After harvesting the plants, the NewMoo casein liquid base is produced through a unique development process that yields a hormone-free liquid casein naturally free of lactose and cholesterol and that replicates the functionality of dairy cheese.


Caseins are considered the 'holy grail' of milk structure by the dairy industry. By developing animal-free caseins through plants instead of cows, it is possible to make almost any dairy product, starting with cheese. "Our animal-free liquid casein mimics all the functional traits of real milk protein for crafting cheese the traditional way," explains Daphna Miller, NewMoo co-founder and CEO. "This means it can seamlessly replace dairy milk in any dairy cheese manufacturing facility without the need for any special equipment or reconfiguration of existing equipment. NewMoo's caseins can form the basis for a cheese that has the exact melting and stretching behavior as animal dairy cheese, and delivers the typical aroma, flavor, and texture that cheese eaters crave. Our animal-free proteins are literally identical to animal-derived caseins."


NewMoo allows for a highly efficient, cost-effective process that sets the cow free from the industrial milk production process and sequesters carbon during natural cultivation. This makes for a more sustainable source of milk proteins.


Courtesy: NewMoo
Courtesy: NewMoo

NewMoo's competitive edge


The NewMoo team boasts extensive experience in the dairy and CPG industries. "We intimately understand the needs of food companies," explains Miller. "Unlike protein powders, the NewMoo liquid casein is production-ready, helping streamline production and go-to-market. As opposed to current precision fermentation practices, our approach doesn't require expensive bioreactor machinery to grow our proteins. The plant seeds themselves act as bioreactors. This gives us the flexibility to produce these complex proteins in abundance and at exceptional cost parity." NewMoo's manufacturing process is easily scalable for simple implementation.


"This method of making previously animal-based foods from non-animal sources is a win-win situation," Miller adds. "It benefits the consumers, the dairy producers, farmers, the health- and animal welfare-conscious flexitarians, and the global climate. We believe that this technology is the most suitable for bringing the future of sustainable animal-free dairy products."


"Our goal is to assist dairy cheese manufacturers broaden their market scope to include the burgeoning flexitarian demographic," asserts co-founder Hod Yanover, Vice President of Food Development for NewMoo. "We empower cheesemakers to create delectable and nutritious guilt-free products with ease and at no added costs."


According to data from Euromonitor, 42% of consumers worldwide identify themselves as flexitarian. The global cheese market has been valued at USD135 billion and is projected to reach USD220 billion by 2028. The alternative dairy movement is still lagging, largely due sensory and nutritional setbacks.


More info here: Food-tech start-up NewMoo has developed animal-free cheese using plant molecular farming to produce casein proteins, the essential components of traditional dairy products.


This innovation aims to offer a scalable, cost-effective and sustainable alternative to conventional cheese, meeting the growing demand for plant-based foods without compromising on taste and texture.


NewMoo’s technology allows for the expression of casein proteins in plant seeds, which can be cultivated through standard agricultural methods.


Caseins make up about 80% of the proteins in dairy milk, crucial for replicating the sensory properties of traditional cheese. This development follows three years of research and stealth operations, leveraging intellectual property from the Weizmann Institute of Science.


Daphna Miller, co-founder and CEO of NewMoo, said: “Our animal-free liquid casein mimics all the functional traits of real milk protein for crafting cheese the traditional way. It can seamlessly replace dairy milk in any cheese manufacturing facility without the need for special equipment, maintaining the typical aroma, flavour and texture that cheese eaters crave.”


NewMoo’s approach offers significant advantages over current methods like precision fermentation, which requires expensive bioreactor machinery. By using plant seeds as natural bioreactors, NewMoo can produce complex proteins abundantly and cost-effectively. Additionally, the process sequesters carbon during cultivation, contributing to a more sustainable food production system.


Miller added: “This method of making previously animal-based foods from non-animal sources benefits consumers, dairy producers, farmers, and the global climate. We believe this technology is the most suitable for bringing the future of sustainable animal-free dairy products.”


NewMoo’s innovation comes at a time when the global cheese market, valued at $135 billion, is projected to reach $220 billion by 2028, according to Euromonitor. The demand for plant-based alternatives is rising, driven by health-conscious and environmentally aware consumers, with 42% of consumers worldwide identifying as flexitarian.


Hod Yanover, VP of food development for NewMoo, said: “Our goal is to assist dairy cheese manufacturers in broadening their market scope to include the burgeoning flexitarian demographic. We empower cheesemakers to create delectable and nutritious guilt-free products with ease and at no added costs.”


Founded in 2021, NewMoo has raised $7 million in seed funding led by Lool and Zora Ventures. The company focuses on enabling consumers to enjoy milk proteins without the cow. Its team comprises experts in plant molecular genetics and food business development, including industry veterans from leading Israeli food companies such as Tnuva and Strauss Group.

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