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New Culture announces self-GRAS for animal-free casein

February 15, 2024

The world's first casein protein made without any animal inputs has been determined safe for consumption. New Culture, the animal-free dairy company, 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 the USA like any other food ingredient.

This GRAS status is the result of New Culture casein matching the identity and macro-nutritional profile of the cow casein it replaces and being made from a manufacturing process that is reproducible, industry-standard, and food safe. This proven manufacturing process, precision fermentation, has been used for decades to make food ingredients and pharmaceuticals cost effectively, sustainably and animal-free. New Culture intends to notify FDA of its self-GRAS determination in the near future.

Casein is what enables milk to be transformed into cheese, yogurt, whipped cream, confections, and countless other dairy products that comprise the US$1 trillion global dairy industry. New Culture's animal-free casein offers all the taste, texture, and functionality consumers expect from conventional dairy. However, products with New Culture casein are also free from lactose, cholesterol, and trace hormones and antibiotics, as well as dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and land and water use.

Thanks to its casein, New Culture's first product – mozzarella for pizzerias – melts, stretches, bubbles and browns just like conventional cheese and has the authentic mouthfeel and texture that plant-based options lack. The company continues to scale its manufacturing capacity in preparation for the first sale of its cheese later this year, beginning at Nancy Silverton's acclaimed Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles.

"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," commented Inja Radman, Co-founder & CSO. "Achieving GRAS status proves that animal inputs aren't needed to produce casein protein and marks an essential step on our path toward commercialization."

Casein is distinct from the other category of dairy protein – whey – in that casein is necessary to make cheese whereas whey is an unused byproduct of the cheesemaking process. The unique structural properties of casein also make it significantly more challenging to produce animal-free than whey. With its singular focus on casein, New Culture has tackled these challenges which, along with its GRAS designation, highlight the company's industry leadership in the transition to an animal-free dairy future.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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