CULT Food Science invests in African precision fermentation company De Novo Dairy

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

De Novo produces recombinant milk proteins through fermentation, identical to those found in a cow's milk, for animal-free dairy products at a commercial scale. Pic: Getty Images/krblokhin
De Novo produces recombinant milk proteins through fermentation, identical to those found in a cow's milk, for animal-free dairy products at a commercial scale. Pic: Getty Images/krblokhin

Related tags: precision fermentation, animal-free dairy, cellular agriculture, Dairy, Milk, Cheese

CULT Food Science Corp., an investment platform with an exclusive focus on cellular agriculture, has completed an early-stage investment in De Novo Dairy.

The company said it continues to broaden its exposure to a diversified and cell-based product and intellectual property pipeline through this net-new exposure to cell-based dairy. CULT joins other notable cellular agriculture capital allocators like Sustainable Food Ventures in helping accelerate De Novo's commercialization and IP pursuits.

Based in Cape Town, South Africa, De Novo is the first precision fermentation company in Africa to focus on alternative protein products such as ice cream, yogurt and cheese.

De Novo produces recombinant milk proteins through fermentation, identical to those found in a cow's milk, that can be seamlessly integrated into animal-free dairy products at a commercial scale.

As milk proteins are largely associated with the physiochemical behavior, taste and texture of traditional dairy, De Novo's products provide the sensory experience of traditional dairy, as well as the nutritional benefits, but in what CULT said is a more ethical, sustainable, and efficient manner.

De Novo said it aims to advance a sustainable and creative solution to the global greenhouse gas problem. CULT's management team said it is encouraged by De Novo's progress and looks forward to it bringing a wide range of animal-free dairy products to market.

"It really is inspiring to see all the international support De Novo Dairy has been receiving for our mission to improve human nutrition whilst removing animals from the food chain. Having CULT Food Science on our side has definitely taken it to the next level, and we look forward to what we will be achieving together in the coming years,"​ said Jean Louwrens, CEO of De Novo.

"CULT is excited to add De Novo to its growing portfolio of innovators that are working to change the global food industry for the better. We are keenly interested in De Novo's work and how it might revolutionize the dairy business and alter consumer demand for traditional dairy products,"​ said Lejjy Gafour, president of CULT.

"Finding ways to convert long standing industries that are harmful to animals and the environment into a sustainable alternative is the wave of the future and we at CULT are doing what we can to sponsor this shift through our investments.”

De Novo was one of the four companies chosen for the first Mylkcubator start-ups project​.

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