Innovation: Cheese out of the laboratory

Meat in a petri dish? We already know it. But cheese? The young Berlin company Legendairy Foods makes it possible.

Raffael Wohlgensinger and Britta Winterberg have a groundbreaking idea: they want to produce cheese in the laboratory - completely without milk. In cooperation with the University of Graz, they have developed a method that makes it possible to artificially breed the milk proteins casein and whey protein. The first type of cheese to emerge from this process is mozzarella. The prototype should be ready by 2020. As soon as the company is able to produce cheese, other dairy products such as milk or yoghurt will follow.

In January 2019, the two young entrepreneurs founded Legendairy Foods in Berlin.

In order to produce this artificial cheese, the corresponding genes must first be identified in cows and copied to yeast cells. In this way, the cells are ordered to produce casein and whey protein. The two eggs are then separated from the yeast cells and are available as powder or liquid. Vegetable fats and carbohydrates are added to the egg whites so that the cheese matures.

Allergy sufferers in particular can look forward to the new cheese products, because laboratory production makes it possible to produce cheese and co. in a compatible way.

One catch remains, however: production in the laboratory.