Danone talks alt dairy, from ‘exciting’ animal-free proteins to ‘dairy-like’ technology in Silk NextMilk

Speaking at FoodNavigator-USA’s ‘Where next for Dairy Alternatives?’ webinar yesterday (now available on demand here​: click on the grey ‘on demand’ tab, then ‘login’ to the session), Debeche said: “I am excited by all these new technologies​ [which rival General Mills is also exploring via a ‘development brand’ containing animal-free dairy proteins called Renegade Creamery​].

“I’m a scientist by training and I do believe in the role of science to solve some of the food challenges we’re facing. So at Danone we’re following technologies such as precision fermentation, producing the animal protein without the animal ​[expressing dairy proteins in genetically engineered microbes] andcell cultured​ [dairy].

“In beverages, milk, yogurt, and frozen desserts and novelties, we have demonstrated that we can achieve a lot with only plant-based ingredients. The main challenge today is plant-based cheese; we know how to deliver cheese flavor and we’ve made a lot of progress on texture and melting.

“However, in plant-based cheese there is still a way to go with stretchability, so we’re continuing to look at a combination of plant-based proteins to mimiccasein​ [a dairy protein], but I do also believe that precision fermentation will also help for sure for cheese.   

“These technologies are not mature yet, but we believe that they can be very interesting to solve some of the current challenges in plant-based cheese, really to replace the gelling and stretching properties of casein, so we are following those technologies for sure.”

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