Bel Group has entered into a strategic partnership with precision fermentation start-up Standing Ovation to develop animal-free casein protein for cheese.
Founded in 2020, Standing Ovation uses precision fermentation technology to produce casein proteins. The proteins are identical to those naturally present in milk, matching the nutritional qualities, functionality and traditional taste of cheese.
The collaboration will see Standing Ovation incorporate casein protein into Bel’s alternative cheese offerings. Bel’s brands include Babybel, The Laughing Cow and Boursin, all of which offer plant-based alternatives.
Anne Pitkowski, Bel Group’s research and application director, said: “Caseins are essential to the quality of cheeses – they are nutritious and provide firmness, texture, and the capacity to melt. Standing Ovation’s technology combined with our knowledge of the links between structure and function will enable all these features – and more – to be developed. This partnership opens many possibilities for imagining tomorrow’s cheese recipes and products, combining nutritional quality, accessibility, and responsibility.”
Both teams will work together to apply Standing Ovation’s technology to select Bel products at Bel’s research and development centre in Vendôme, France, and at Standing Ovation’s facility in Paris.
Frédéric Pâques and Romain Chayot, respectively president and scientific director, co-founders of Standing Ovation, commented: “We have developed a unique process to produce non-animal caseins. Our ambition today is to see the first products arrive on the market quickly, with a very wide distribution. We are proud to partner with Bel Group to accelerate the deployment of these alternative proteins.”
Bel acquired an equity stake in Standing Ovation back in September.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2023
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