Microbial Production of Casein

Consumer research shows that current plant-based cheese products do not meet expectations in terms of taste, texture and mouthfeel. The lack therein of caseins, by far the most important milk protein and accounting for 80% of all protein in cow’s milk, is at the root of this problem. Caseins give the so-familiar cheese products their unique and indispensable properties. Founded in 2020, Those Vegan Cowboys – NewMilkLab is capitalizing on this unique opportunity. Casein proteins with exactly the same functional properties can be produced through fermentation, without the need for dairy cattle, and thus with positive consequences for the ecological and animal welfare impact of casein and dairy production. In this way, this project contributes to several pillars of the Flemish Protein Strategy: on the one hand, more product diversity will be created (more animal-free cheese alternatives) and on the other hand, this will lead to a sustainable protein consumption because animal caseins will be replaced by microbial proteins.

The MiProCas project aims to further fine-tune and scale up the fermentative production of one casein variant with the help of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant. The purification of the protein will also be scaled up at BBEPP in order to obtain it in a sufficient quantity and with sufficient purity (food grade) for formulation into animal-free cheese alternatives.

ACTIVITIES of the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant

  • Project coordination 
  • Scale-up of casein fermentation process to 1500 L scale
  • Optimization and scale-up of downstream process for casein purification and delivery of food grade casein for formulation into dairy-free cheese prototypes
  • Communication & Dissemination of project results



Vlaams Departement Landbouw & Visserij – Projecten Relance 2021 – Realisatie Eiwitstrategie


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Microbial Protein Transition

Equipment for the purification of proteins or other nutrients from fermentation broth.

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