Cheese without the cow? Lactose-intolerant Shell engineer developing gene-edited soybean-based ‘cheese’ that stretches, tastes and toasts just like the real thing

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Credit: Nobell Foods
Credit: Nobell Foods

In the United States alone, roughly 9 million cows are devoted to churning out torrents of milk a year which, over time, can begin to take a toll on our planet’s resources. What’s more, tens of millions of Americans are increasingly unable to consume cow milk-based cheese without discomfort because they develop lactose intolerance.

Gene editing as a solution came into the picture in the form of a young woman who became lactose intolerant but just couldn’t bear the thought of giving up cheese. Magi Richani, a Shell engineer, set out to find a plant-based alternative to her favorite food.

Plunging deeply into cheese production, Richani found that casein, the principal cow-derived component of cheese could be created “without the cow” using gene-edited soybeans. And, with the right settings, this could make a cheese that stretches, tastes and toasts “just like the real thing from cows and goats.”

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Not only do Nobell products come closer and closer to the taste of dairy cheese, but they may also ultimately compete on price with milk-based products—and even boost the profits of soybean farmers.

This is an excerpt. Read the original post here.

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