In an effort to deliver on our promise to supply natural, plant-based ingredients to the food and beverage industry, Fooditive has launched vegan casein. Our first ingredient, a sweetener made from upcycled apples and pears, was met with overwhelming response and success. Now, we are aiming to break the stigma surrounding genetically modified ingredients with a natural alternative to milk protein.
Why vegan casein?
As the world moves towards a sustainable future, more and more products are becoming plant-based. Look around supermarkets and you’ll see soy milk, oat cream, cashew cheese, coconut-based desserts, and much more. To meet the demand for these products, Fooditive has developed vegan casein that will improve the taste, texture, and appearance of vegan dairy products.
On a more personal note, our founder, CEO, and food scientist Moayad Abushokhedim describes his motivation for developing vegan casein:
After going through many health issues, I decided to become vegan in 2018. I still want to enjoy food that is as good as non-vegan food. I have been trying to understand the struggle of finding a plant-based cheese or milk that tastes like what we grew up with. Moving to the Netherlands, a country that is famous for its milk industry has helped me understand the magical science of milk. What really drove Fooditive to work harder on our casein was the idea that casein can impact the industry but also can make people appreciate plant-based foods.
What is it?
Vegan casein is a DNA replication of animal casein, made from peas. While we, at Fooditive, understand the negative discourse surrounding GMO, the method of making vegan casein directly challenges factory farming, lactose, hormones, and antibiotics that are associated with traditional dairy products.
With the use of four types of casein (β-casein, κ-casein, α-S1-casein, and α-S2-casein), dairy alternatives will have the same taste, texture, richness, and stretchiness as traditional dairy products. Fooditive’s vegan casein will be sold directly to companies to use in their own products. This will impact the food and beverage industry in that less CO2 will be emitted during the production of the vegan casein.
How is it made?
Our process starts with encoding casein DNA sequences onto microorganisms with yeast cell plasmids. This transfers genetic information from a DNA sequence to other parts of the cell. The engineered yeast, with protein-producing DNA, converts into a new organism. We focused on four types of casein in order to provide its full functions to the end products. With the use of precision fermentation, the yeast is added into bioreactor tanks and fed nutrients while simultaneously purifying proteins. This method has allowed us to produce a very specific, well-defined ingredient. While it has the same functions as animal-based casein, we believe end-consumers will be more likely to make the switch to plant-based products because it has been produced sustainably. Our process will not only be great for taste, texture, and appearance but helps us achieve our commitment to providing affordable ingredients.
What can it be used in?
Our vegan casein is suitable for a wide range of dairy applications: milk, cream, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, butter, etc. It not only makes the product completely plant-based, but it provides the taste, texture, appearance, creaminess, and richness of traditional dairy products. Fascinatingly, we have even received interest from paint companies that want to add the casein into their formulas.