Guest: Matt Gibson | Co-Founder & CEO | New Culture
Category: 🍏 Sustainable Food | Cultivated Cheese
Podcast’s Essential Bites:
[3:10] MGi: "[There were a lot of companies] making cultivated pork, cultivated chicken, beef, fish, you name it. And there was not as much of a focus on dairy, and as in making real dairy products without the animal. Now, New Zealand makes a lot of dairy. So it's something I've been exposed to all my life. And I was very much aware of just how big the dairy market is, just how unsustainable it is, and how much of a need we need to transition people over to not just animal free meat options, but also animal free dairy options."
[3:58] "Cheese is by far [...] the most unsustainable dairy product, [...] [because] it's extremely resource intensive. Cheese is generally considered the third worst food product after beef and lamb for things such as greenhouse gas emissions [and] land usage. [For] water usage, it can be considered the most resource intensive animal product. And what makes it even worse, in my opinion, is the fact that the current plant-based cheese options don't recreate the dairy cheese experience."
[6:29] MGi: "There's one crucial ingredient in dairy cheese that provides all the properties we love about cheese, whether it's the stretch in the mouth of mozzarella, the sharpness of some sharp cheddar, or the or the completeness of parmesan. And that's all thanks to a class of proteins called casein proteins. So casein proteins are the other major dairy protein found in mammalian milk. [...] And so then the question is, what are the methods we can utilize to make casing other than sourcing from animals? [...] We landed on microbial fermentation, because it's the most scalable and the most routinely used actually, in the food industry."
[15:55] MGi: "The highest consumed cheese in the United States is mozzarella. And we see that as the biggest opportunity, so that's our first cheese. We also see mozzarella having the biggest difference between the conventional animal derived mozzarella and the plant-based mozzarella in terms of the gap and quality [...] in those cheese attributes. [...] And we're going to launch into the foodservice market, [because] most mozzarella is consumed in the foodservice market and that is very much thanks to pizza."
[18:04] MGi: "Our vision is to lead the transition of the world to an animal-free dairy diet. And so from mission point of view, we're really going to have a material impact on the sustainability of the cheese industry, at least the first step in that direction is going to be transitioning those national [restaurant] chains over to a much more sustainable products, which is going to be our New Culture animal-free cheese."
[18:32] MGi: "We're making a cheese that is indistinguishable from animal derived mozzarella. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference. [...] And on top of that, it is much more sustainable, orders of magnitude more sustainable than conventional dairy mozzarella, whilst being lactose-free, cholesterol-free, being free of any trace hormones, antibiotics, so overall just been a better option. [...] The beauty of casein is that it is a very versatile protein and you can make any cheese you want as long as you have casein protein. So we're obviously not going to stop at mozzarella. We're going to look to make a whole suite of cheeses."