Dairy giant Bel Group and start-up Standing Ovation are partnering on incorporating casein milk protein into Bel’s alternative cheese offerings.
In September, Bel acquired an equity stake in Standing Ovation.
Standing Ovation has developed a precision fermentation process that produces caseins of non-animal origin. These proteins are identical to those present in milk. Standing Ovation’s casein protein also paves the way for products with a lower environmental impact and greater accessibility.
Bel and Standing Ovation’s scientific teams will work together at Bel’s R&D center in Vendôme, France, and at Standing Ovation’s facility in Paris, on the application of Standing Ovation’s technology to selected Bel products.
Opening up possibilities
Caroline Sorlin, Bel Group chief venture officer, said: “I am delighted with this exclusive partnership which perfectly illustrates how our Group is committed to FoodTech for the future of food. It also demonstrates the confidence that innovative start-ups like Standing Ovation have in us to transform the food model. Combining the knowledge and skills of such a start-up and a Group like ours guarantees that we will be able to offer products that will meet consumers’ expectations tomorrow.”
Anne Pitkowski, Bel Group research and application director, said: “Caseins are essential to the quality of cheeses – they are nutritious and provide firmness, texture, and the capacity to melt. Standing Ovation’s technology combined with our knowledge of the links between structure and function will enable all these features – and more – to be developed. Our unique cheese-making expertise will put these advances into practice. This partnership opens many possibilities for imagining tomorrow’s cheese recipes and products, combining nutritional quality, accessibility, and responsibility.”
Standing Ovation co-founders Frédéric Pâques, president, and Romain Chayot, scientific director, added: “We have developed a unique process to produce non-animal caseins. Our ambition today is to see the first products arrive on the market quickly, with a very wide distribution. We are proud to partner with Bel Group to accelerate the deployment of these alternative proteins, whose market is growing exponentially, and where we want to play a key role. We look forward to working with a Group with proven cheese expertise, iconic brands and a collaboration model that is ideal for start-ups.”