Sophie’s Closes in on the Algal Bacon Cheeseburger

Algal Bacon Cheeseburger

This algal-based cheese substitute mimics natural Cheddar cheese.

Sophie’s BioNutrients, a next-generation sustainable urban food technology company, together with Ingredion Idea Labs® innovation center in Singapore, have collaborated to produce their first microalgae-based cheese substitute, made from Sophie’s BioNutrients dairy-free microalgae milk. Developed using microalgae protein flour, it is available as two types of products — a semi-hard microalgae dairy-free product and a dairy-free spread.

With an umami and tangy taste profile, this vegan-friendly cheese alternative mimics natural Cheddar cheese and can be sliced for a cheese board or sandwich, melted in a toastie, or spread over crackers or bread as a rich, gooey spread.

A dairy and lactose-free alternative to cheese

A one ounce serving of semi-hard microalgae “cheese” provides double the daily allowance of B12. It is also sustainably harvested and has a low carbon footprint. “Microalgae is one of the most nutrient-rich and ductile resources on the planet,” said Eugene Wang, Co-Founder & CEO of Sophie’s BioNutrients. “Today we have shown another facet of the unlimited possibilities this superfood can offer — a dairy and lactose-free alternative to cheese that, thanks to microalgae, offers a higher protein content than most available dairy-free alternatives. We are incredibly excited for this development in allergen-free foods and the prospect of more inclusive dining.”

Working toward a more sustainable food future

Sophie’s is taking advantage of a growing consumer demand for plant-based dairy alternatives worldwide. According to international market research firm Research and Markets, the global vegan cheese market was valued at US$1.2 billion in 2019 and is estimated to reach US$4.42 billion by 2027, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.5% from 2021 to 2027.

Sophie’s Bionutrients produce a neutral-hued unadulterated microalgae flour naturally cultivated from single-cell microalgae and harvested within three days in a protected environment. The microalgae strains used by Sophie’s BioNutrients are U.S. GRAS and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved for use as food ingredients or supplements.

Ingredion Incorporated, headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, is a leading global ingredient solutions provider serving customers in more than 120 countries. The company turns grains, fruits, vegetables and other plant-based materials into value-added ingredients for the food, beverage, animal nutrition, brewing, and industrial markets.

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