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New Culture’s animal-free casein cleared for commercial sale in “world first”
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

14 February 2024

New Culture’s animal-free casein cleared for commercial sale in “world first”

New Culture’s casein protein made without any animal inputs has been determined safe for consumption. The alt-dairy start-up has self-affirmed that its animal-free casein is 'Generally Recognized as Safe' (GRAS) following a recent review by an independent panel of qualified scientific and toxicology experts. The company's self-GRAS determination means its casein can be sold, used and consumed in US like any other food ingredient. New Culture says it received GRAS status as its casein matches the identity and macro-nutritional profile of the cow casein it replaces, and as its manufacturing process is reproducible, industry-standard and food safe.

In June last year, New Culture announced that it had successfully created mozzarella cheese using its casein protein. The mozzarella is slated to rollout in summer this year at Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles, US, before launching onto retail shelves. In August 2023, New Culture revealed that it had scaled up its fermentation process to manufacturing volumes far larger than previous deployment volumes, enabling the production of 25,000 pizzas worth of cheese per run, a significant step forward in its plans to supply animal-free mozzarella to pizzerias across America. Casein enables milk to be transformed into cheese, yogurt, whipped cream and other dairy products. New Culture's animal-free casein offers the same taste, texture and functionality as conventional dairy. However, products made with New Culture casein are also free from lactose, cholesterol, trace hormones and antibiotics, as well as significantly reduced greenhouse gas emissions and land and water use. Inja Radman, New Culture’s co-founder and CSO, said: "Having secured another “world's first” for our animal-free casein is a testament to the hard-working and innovative team we have at New Culture. Achieving GRAS status proves that animal inputs aren't needed to produce casein protein and marks an essential step on our path toward commercialisation." New Culture says it intends to notify FDA of its self-GRAS determination in the near future. The start-up also said that it is continuing to scale its manufacturing capacity in preparation for the first sale of its cheese later this year.

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