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Plant-based milk that mimics dairy – Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts 2021-06-16 14:26:54 –


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Coffee using plant-based Not Milk. Scott Thatchman / The Washington Post; Food Styling Lisa Cherkasky / The Washington Post

In the world of vegetable milk, the basic ingredients are everything. The variety is dazzling, including cashew milk, soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, oat milk, and even macadamia milk. We call them milk, but they don’t work like cow milk. It has a bitter taste when heated and separates when cooled. Until recently, no real dairy product was imitated.

That was exactly that NotCo, A start-up company founded in Chile wanted to do. Over the months starting in 2019, scientists there have developed artificial intelligence techniques to find plants that may function like milk at the molecular level. However, there were times when humans had to intervene, as when casein, the main protein in milk, was simulated by algae that turned drinks into an appetizing shade of blue.

Then the scientists landed on something promising, not blue.

“This is weird milk!” The company’s CEO, Matias Muchnick, recalled what he said after his first taste. “what is that?”

Plant-based NotMilk, full-fat and low-fat varieties. – Scott Thatchman / The Washington Post; Food Styling Lisa Cherkasky / The Washington Post

Two of the important ingredients were pineapple and cabbage. This is something that humans have never dreamed of pouring into breakfast cereals. This product, called NotMilk, uses more than 12 ingredients, including chicory root fiber, coconut oil, and pea protein to create what the packaging calls a “plant-based alternative milk.” Introduced in Carton: Black Erased Cow Painting – Erased.

With Impossible Foods, Announced last year NotMilk was further investing in the development of its own fake dairy milk prototype. NotMilk claims to make vegan milk that can taste, cook and whisk like beef. years ago. However, NotCo takes a unique approach, using algorithms that help scientists solve the biggest mysteries of plant-based foods. It is delicious enough for omnivores and emits less carbon dioxide than dairy products.

NotMilk is sold at Whole Foods in the United States, is sold in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, and will reach nearly 3,000 US grocery stores this year.Investor Including Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, which owns Whole Foods. (Bezos owns The Washington Post.) NotCo also manufactures plant-based mayonnaise, ice cream, and burgers using the same basic technology.

NotMilk’s success depends on its ability to fulfill its promises and its ability to wrap people around what it is.

Is it milk? Isn’t it milk?

“Of course, it’s provocative,” Muchnick said. He said that raising those questions and learning the answers is all part of the process of knowing milk.

From left, NotCo founders Karim Pichara Baksai, Matias Muchnick, Pablo Zamora. – NotCo

So Dairy industry is struggling Demand with Vegetable milk boom, Shoppers have become accustomed to seeing cartons Almond Breeze And Rice dream.. But to find out what’s in NotMilk, they need to flip the container over and look at the ingredient list.

Steven Williamson, CEO of the company, said other companies have tried to market themselves without labeling their foundations. Forager projectMake organic plant-based foods, including milk. RippleFor example, the front of a milk bottle does not mention the basic ingredient, peas, and calls itself “plant-based.”

“No one has succeeded on an undifferentiated basis,” Williamson quoted. Autory As the most successful plant-based milk on the market. “Until now, the base has been important.”

For running Larisha Bernard Make dairy products freeOn the vegan website, along with her husband Andrew, I asked her her own question when she heard that NotMilk intended to imitate dairy products. “Does that mean GMO? Does that mean it was created with some ambiguity in the lab?” She said. “We had to do our own research.”

Knowing how to make milk, she was comfortable using it to soak cookies and make creamy sauces such as alfredo and macaroni and cheese. “This is the closest thing we remember tasting milk,” said Bernard, who has been vegan for over two years.

A side-by-side taste test comparing NotMilk and milk showed a difference. Compared to dairy products, NotMilk is a faint note of coconut and pineapple, slightly veggie in shade and sweetened on both the nose and mouth. One taster said the flavor was much less sweet, but reminiscent of cow milk agitated with fruit loops. When it comes to texture, it felt like a dairy product.

Milk has had many consequences for coffee. When poured into various roasts and branded brews, it sometimes broke and did not foam into thick, silky foam, instead creating large foam. Muchnick states that the pH of some coffees can cause separation and recommends using at least one-third of Not Milk for coffee. “The gush may not be enough to stop the separation,” he said.

Aside from that, all four tasters agreed. As such, NotMilk was delicious and much more like a dairy product than any other vegetable milk.

But is that good for you?General criticisms of imitation meat such as: impossible And Beyond Hamburgers are that they have Equivalent amount Highly processed of saturated beef fat.Something like Burger King And Dunkin’Donuts Chipotle CEO Brian Niccol added these meats to the menu Passed famously so that.

Will Brucywitz, a gastroenterologist and advocate of a plant-based diet in Charleston, South Carolina, has enough data on whether imitation milk and burgers are healthier than the original animal-based products. And no research, he said. He probably did, but expressed concern that NotMilk was a “super-processed food.”

Muchnick disagreed with its properties. Or was it processed? Or is it fresh? Or is it natural? The industry calls many things that are not natural “natural.” “

Diet and nutrition have long been polarized, and confusing, Subjects – Over the past few decades, we have accepted and avoided fats, gluten, sugar, and even carbohydrates. That’s why Muknik was attracted to the food industry. A financial major from Santiago, Chile, playing rugby and eating meat “very hard”, he had an internship at JP Morgan in Hong Kong when he had an inspiration.

“One day eggs are good for you. Another day eggs are bad for you,” he said. “Whenever the industry causes so much turmoil, it’s because the system is broken.”

He thought the food industry was running on outdated technology. Together with data science-focused computer scientist Karim Pichara Baksai and plant genome biochemist Pablo Zamora, he set out to create an AI-driven food approach to the algorithm. I provided information and taught what works. The goal was to create a plant-based food that removes animals from the equation without sacrificing flavor.

It took a year and a half to create the base of the algorithm. Today, vegetarian Muchnick, who is still working on dairy products, has been prototyping and scaling the product in four months, thanks to an algorithm named Giuseppe after an Italian artist in the 16th century. Say you are going. Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Draws a portrait that fuses human characteristics with plants.

The industry is not lacking in controversy.Vegetable milk had to be Address regulatory challenges Around the world, we are facing backlash from dairy farmers and their supporters.European Union where plant-based products cannot label themselves as “oat milk” or “cashew yogurt” Recently withdrawn A rule that would even prohibit them from comparing themselves to dairy products after protests from supporters and consumers. Still, in England Oatly is labeled As an “oat drink”.Other brands Go with “m * lk”.

NotCo is facing in Chile Proceedings The dairy union has filed a claim that the company has accused milk and demanded that it stop using images of cows in packaging and marketing.

Muchnick, who wiped out the proceedings in response to the dairy industry’s loss of market share, says NotCo has never claimed that milk is bad. I haven’t faced similar challenges in the United States, but it wouldn’t be surprising to say “these things always happen” right away.

Especially in the rapid growth of NotCo. Muchnick says milk sells “incredibly well” at Whole Foods. The full half gallon is $ 4.99, Same as Horizon Organic Milk.. (Whole Foods spokespersons couldn’t share a particular number of sales, but confirmed NotMilk was a strong retailer.) The company is looking to expand into Canada and Mexico. The goal is not just to appeal to vegans and vegetarians. Muchnick shows that 92% of consumers do not fall into any of these categories, according to their research.

“The only way we move the needle is if we have access to the mass market,” he said.

Of course, there is only one way to do that. It’s about writing down the cows that are the biggest competitors out there.



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