- Tram Ho
Milk may not come from cows! That is what everyone knows when holding a can of soy milk, or recently, the dairy products are being heavily advertised. But when it comes to a dairy product of the future, all the traditional ingredients that make it milk can be left behind.
With $ 85 million raised from hedge funds such as Bezos Expeditions and L Catterton, NotCo, an American food technology company, said it has built an artificial intelligence (AI) capable of evolving from Non-traditional ingredients like cabbage, peas and pineapple.
Matias Muchnick, CEO and founder of NotCo, said: “The unexpected combination of pineapple and cabbage gives the usual milky, milky flavor that we still use. Lettuce and coconut help create texture and Protein peas help us create a product that is balanced in everyone’s diet “.
NotCo has launched two product lines named NotMilk, one of which is vegan milk and the other is 2% slimming milk. These products are sold in more than 450 stores of the organic supermarket chain Whole Foods in the US.
Non-traditional dairy market
Every minute that passes, 1,600 tons of milk are consumed worldwide. The human demand for milk is extremely great. In particular, there is a growing niche, which is dairy products that are not made from cow’s milk or animal milk for vegans, who are not only concerned with their own health. but also animal health as well as the environment.
In 2018, soy milk, coconut milk, rice milk and nut milk such as almonds accounted for 15% of the total dairy market in the US. Worldwide, this vegan dairy market is expected to reach sales of more than $ 38 billion by 2024, with growth over 14% a year.
As a food technology company, NotCo sees that trend. ” More and more consumers are looking for healthier and more sustainable products in their diets ,” Muchnick said. However, the market currently does not have any milk substitutes that have reached the perfection of traditional cow’s milk.
” The alternatives on the market are flawed in some way – whether it’s the look, the taste or the texture ,” Muchnick said. That is the reason that up to 33% of vegan dairy consumers in the US end up buying traditional dairy products because they are not used to their new taste.
NotCo wants to address this. And they know they need to get out of the way of making almond, oat, or soy milk. To do that, the company has developed an artificial intelligence named Giuseppe.
Artificial intelligence can make milk from cabbage and pineapple
Giuseppe is trained with a large database of food ingredients. It was tasked with finding vegan ingredients that could be blended into a milk substitute. Muchnick said NotCo hosts two teams within its company:
” AI Chef Team ” is in charge of testing recipes to produce a drink that looks and feels like milk and ” Food Science ” focuses on ” the functional and molecular properties of the ingredient. “, how can the nutrition in this milk substitute be guaranteed to resemble traditional milk?
The company’s AI team has also created software that helps analyze the components Giuseppe recommends to “optimize the design of their experiments,” Muchnick said. These experiments then help the artificial intelligence algorithm “gain a deeper understanding of the vast context of food science”.
With the help of artificial intelligence, NotCo began to find ways to exploit non-traditional ingredients to make milk. Giuseppe suggests cabbage and pineapple can be mixed together to create a flavor similar to milk. Meanwhile, chicory and coconut can create a sticky texture. Nutritional ingredients in milk such as protein can be added from peas.
NotCo’s food experts have used this guide to create their first two products, the NotMilk vegan milk and the 2% NotMilk skim milk that is currently sold in the US. The company claims NotMilk has a taste and texture comparable to real milk, while not using any ingredients from animal milk.
NotCo’s goals are vegetarian eggs, vegetarian milk, and vegetarian meat
Not only creating NotMilk products, NotCo’s Giuseppe artificial intelligence is also used to create other company’s products – including NotIceCream (non-dairy vegan ice cream), NotBurger ( vegan burger without milk cheese) and NotMayo (non-dairy dipping sauce).
The company says it will continue to “explore” various alternative foods with the help of AI. Previously, the company’s NotMeat product line was used in Papa John’s vegan pizza in Chile and Burger King in the UK.
NotMilk is currently the company’s most popular product, said Manynick, but he expects NotBurger to grow in popularity as it launches in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.
” We have seen the growth trajectory of plant-based food accelerate rapidly in today’s pandemic scenario, as people increasingly look for healthier and more sustainable alternatives to their diets. ” , Muchnick said.
The company is also planning to expand into other retailers, restaurants and fast food industries in the “near future “, he said.
The crossroads between food science, artificial intelligence, nutrition and environmental protection
NotMilk’s website highlights an advantage NotMilk over conventional dairy products, their production process saving up to 92% water, 74% energy and 74% emissions into the environment.
Most of us today, they say, are still in favor of animal foods. Thanks to their taste on the one hand, but on the other hand we also need the nutrients from meat and milk.
However, consumers are rarely aware of the environmental impact of meat and milk production. NotCo’s goal is to recreate animal products from plant ingredients, helping to ensure both nutritional, environmental and human palatability.
Standing in front of this intersection, the company chooses to use food technology powered by artificial intelligence. ” As our artificial intelligence continues to develop cognitive skills, we will continue to improve our processes even further, to bring new products to market faster and to penetrate more. more categories in the near future , “ Muchnick said.
Source : Genk