Sophie's BioNutrients, a next-generation sustainable urban food production technology company, together with Ingredion Idea Labs® innovation center in Singapore, have produced Sophie's first microalgae-based cheese, made from its own dairy-free microalgae milk. With vegan, dairy-free options for cheeses on the rise in response to growing consumer demands for plant-based alternatives, this dairy-free cheese is a much anticipated addition.
This cheese innovation boasts an umami and tangy taste profile, mimicking a natural Cheddar cheese and can be sliced for a cheese board, melted in a toastie, slotted in a sandwich, or slathered over crackers or bread as a rich and gooey spread.
Anything dairy can do, microalgae can do Cheddar
The team at Sophie's BioNutrients collaborated with the team of technical experts at Ingredion to create the vegan-friendly cheese. Developed using microalgae protein flour, it is available as two types of products – a semi-hard microalgae dairy-free cheese and a dairy-free cheese spread.
A one-ounce serving of semi-hard microalgae cheese provides double the daily allowance of B12. It is also sustainably harvested – no cows were harmed during the process – and has a low carbon footprint.
"Microalgae is one of the most nutrient-rich and ductile resources on the planet. Today we have shown another facet of the unlimited possibilities this superfood can offer – a dairy and lactose-free alternative to cheese that, thanks to microalgae, offers a higher protein content than most available dairy-free alternatives. We are incredibly excited for this development in allergen-free foods and the prospect of more inclusive dining," said Eugene Wang, Co-Founder & CEO of Sophie's BioNutrients.
Ai Tsing Tan, Innovation Director at Ingredion also shared, "As we innovate to meet the changing needs of consumers, it is key to focus on the attributes important to creating a consumer-preferred product. Our approach to dairy-free cheese is to develop it as closely as possible to cheese in both flavor and texture. Cosumers can enjoy a delicious, recognizable and desirable vegan cheese eating experience."
Working to create a more sustainable food future
This latest innovation is set against the backdrop of robust consumer demand for plant-based dairy alternatives worldwide. The increase in awareness of lactose-intolerant conditions has been a key factor in driving the market.
According to international market research firm Research and Markets, the global vegan cheese market was valued at US$1.2 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach US$4.42 billion by 2027, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2021 to 2027.
Sophie's Bionutrients produce a neutral-hued unadulterated microalgae flour naturally cultivated from single-cell microalgae and harvested within three days in a protected environment.
The microalgae strains used by Sophie's BioNutrients are U.S. GRAS and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved for use as food ingredients or supplements.
Ingredion brings together the potential of people, nature and technology to make all life better. Ingredion is committed to improving food security through sustainable sourcing practices and enhanced product offerings to support food security, including focusing on alternative proteins. Ingredion provides expertise in delivering consumer-preferred products in co-creating what's next with Sophie's Bionutrients.
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