As a growing number of consumers are looking to green up their diets, more and more plant-based meat and dairy alternatives are emerging on the market to cater to these eco-conscious needs. However, as a recent culinary innovation proves, plants are not the only protagonists in the transition towards more sustainable foods — microbes play a key role too.
That’s what a new company called Superbrewed Food is demonstrating with its dairy-free cheese whose core protein is not plant-based, but rather microbe-based. To produce the protein, the company uses anaerobic fermentation, the same process used for brewing beer, which Superbrewed Food says can be used to make both meat-free and dairy-free products.
For the fermentation process, the company uses a specific gut-friendly microbe that’s commonly found in our microbiomes. What’s more, the production doesn’t require any investments in new technologies because the fermentation process is already commonly used and their production facility relies on commercial infrastructure that already exists, such as that found at breweries.
Once it creates the protein, the company can form block cheeses and cream cheese that look and taste like the real deal, as well as fibrous textures for meat alternatives. On top of that, it also ”has tremendous emulsification properties, so it has the ability to go into a lot of baked-good applications, egg-substitute applications,” says Superbrewed CEO Brian Tracy. “I think we’ll find many, many homes for this.”
So far, the company has made samples of mozzarella, cream cheese, and cheddar. It’s now working on packaging and distribution, hoping to release its first products later this year.