A Danish food tech company has received €1.3M in funding to further develop its method of vegan cheesemaking that mimics dairy production. The funding comes from the BioInnovation Institute and will go to Copenhagen-based FÆRM, which has patented food science innovations, combined with traditional dairy cheesemaking methods. These include coagulating soy milk into cheese curds using fermentation and maturation. Soya-based vegan mozzarella, brie, and cream cheese have already been developed. In addition, the company will now try to make new products with other legumes. 

A FÆRM spokesperson told Plant Based News, “We have developed and patented a completely different way of making plant-based cheese, which is actually a variation of the same way you make regular cheese —namely with the help of enzymes that cause the milk to curdle and microorganisms that build the flavour profile and add functionality…Instead of cow’s milk, we use soy milk with a little extra oil and sugar added, a substitute for lactose/milk sugar. You can say we have invented a way to translate dairy technology from milk to plants.” 

Over the last ten years or so, many companies have managed to produce vegan cheese that imitates animal-based cheese with great accuracy, using coconut, soya, cashew, and other plants, but this does not mean that the methods used to produce them are similar to the methods used to produce animal cheeses. This new technology developed in Denmark could make them even closer to their original, and as FÆRM is also licensing its patented technology to other companies, this method could proliferate. Perhaps we are now entering the phase of vegan cheesemaking 3.0, taking the imitation of animal-based cheese to another level, making it easier for cheese addicts to transition into a plant-based diet, and eventually adopt the philosophy of veganism.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.