The mozzarella is New Culture’s first product and was created in partnership with Nancy Silverton, award-winning chef and co-owner of Pizzeria Mozza. Prior to this, New Culture was focusing on providing its precision fermentation-derived casein to CPG giants such as General Mills and had also entered a partnership with ingredients specialist ADM to develop alt dairy products.
The cow-free mozzarella is made through precision fermentation and contains dairy-identical casein that gives the cheese its stretchiness without involving animals in the production process; the cheese is also lactose- and cholesterol-free and is claimed to taste just like conventional cheese. Describe the cheese’s functional properties, New Culture said the ingredient has ‘the versatility to bake, bubble and brown in wood fired, gas and electric ovens up to 850°F/455°C’.
The dairy-identical mozzarella will formally become part of the pizzeria’s menu in 2024, but the newly-announced partnership will be marked with several launch events as early as June 2023. The first of these is set to take place in the Los Angeles Pizzeria Mozza, where custom pizzas will be showcased; then, additional events in LA, New York City and San Francisco will follow.
“We always try to accommodate our guests at Pizzeria Mozza, including those with unique dietary preferences. However, we don't always have the right solution,” said Silverton. “I've always been of the school of thinking that just because it's a substitute doesn't mean it needs to be anything less than spectacular. When I tried New Culture cheese, I was surprised and excited by the integrity of the product and really felt it lived up to our standards. I am so excited to offer New Culture cheese at Pizzeria Mozza.”
For the commercial launch of New Culture's animal-free mozzarella, Silverton and the New Culture team worked hand-in-hand to create two new pizza recipes for the Pizzeria Mozza menu - a traditional margherita and a caponata pizza with eggplant, tomato confit, pickled onions and caperberries.
Inja Radman, CSO and co-founder of New Culture, reflected: “We believe consumers shouldn't have to compromise on stretch, melt, taste or sustainability when enjoying their favorite cheeses and we can't wait to see New Culture mozzarella on pizzeria menus nationwide, starting at Pizzeria Mozza.”
According to Polaris Market Research, the dairy alternatives segment held the largest share of the global precision fermentation market in 2022. The category is anticipated to maintain its dominance over the next decade, with whey and casein growing at the fastest CAGR rate.
Meanwhile, North America dominated the industry in 2022 and the analysts have tipped the region to maintain its market position to 2032. The European market is also expected to grow over the forecast period according to Polaris Market Research, pushed by rising demand for meat alternatives.