The company said the innovation features “an umami and tangy taste profile,” mimicking a natural Cheddar cheese.
The team at Sophie's BioNutrients collaborated with Ingredion to create the vegan-friendly cheese alternative. Developed using microalgae protein flour, it is available as two types of products – a semi-hard microalgae dairy-free semi-hard-cheese-style and a dairy-free spread.
A one-ounce serving of the semi-hard variety provides double the daily allowance of B12. The company said it is also sustainably harvested and has a low carbon footprint.
"Microalgae is one of the most nutrient-rich and ductile resources on the planet. Today we have shown another facet of the unlimited possibilities this superfood can offer – a dairy and lactose-free alternative to cheese that, thanks to microalgae, offers a higher protein content than most available dairy-free alternatives. We are incredibly excited for this development in allergen-free foods and the prospect of more inclusive dining," said Eugene Wang, co-founder and CEO of Sophie's BioNutrients.
Ai Tsing Tan, innovation director at Ingredion, said, “As we innovate to meet the changing needs of consumers, it is key to focus on the attributes important to creating a consumer-preferred product. Our approach to dairy-free cheese is to develop it as closely as possible to cheese in both flavor and texture. Consumers can enjoy a delicious, recognizable and desirable vegan cheese eating experience."
The microalgae strains used by Sophie's BioNutrients are U.S. GRAS and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved for use as food ingredients or supplements.