US-French multinational cheese manufacturer and marketer, Bel Group, has entered into a strategic partnership with Superbrewed Food, a nutrition and health company, to create a line of cheese products.

Bel said the partnership is part of its strategy to develop dairy and plant-based foods to meet current and future food challenges.

The maker of Babybel, The Laughing Cow, and Boursin added that the new cheese line would be created by incorporating SuperBrewed’s postbiotic cultured protein.  

Bel noted that it decided to select Superbrewed’s protein ingredient due to its quality, lower environmental impact, and functionality.

According to the French manufacturer, the protein is nutrient-rich and contains all nine essential amino acids.

The startup revealed that it uses traditional anaerobic fermentation processes to create a high-quality protein with all 9 essential amino acids.

The microflora found in nature is used in the process to convert plant fibers that create the minimally processed ingredient which delivers added functionality and nutrition to foods while being allergen-friendly and non-GMO.

Superbrewed noted that a 30-gram serving meets US requirements for being a “good source” of B vitamins, including B12, and offers six essential minerals, including iron, phosphorous, and magnesium.

The protein, highlighted by the partners, will be ready to ship from Superbrewed’s Delaware, US, facility in the first half of 2023, upon which Bel will develop a line of products using its expertise in the cheese category.

Superbrewed has been working in a stealth mode for several years before its first breakthrough in making dairy-free milk using cultured biomass fermentation protein made from the same process, in 2021.

In the same year, the startup partnered with Acme-Hardesty to bring butyrate postbiotic supplements to the US and Canada.

The startup has joined an ‘open collaboration’ model with over 100 partners, to stimulate and scale up their innovations and prepare the future of food, as highlighted by Bel Group chief venture officer, Caroline Sorlin.

She added: “Pursuing our mission to offer healthy snacks for all, Bel innovates to support the changes in nutritional needs and meet the challenges of a sustainable diet for an ever-growing world population.

We are very happy to enter this exclusive collaboration, which is a testament to our pioneering role and acceleration of disruptive technologies.”

Bel Group research and application director, Anne Pitkowski, commented that Bel is accelerating biomass fermentation at the R&D level for its environmental, nutritional, and accessibility benefits, without compromising on anything.

Thus, she expressed delight for Bel to work hand-in-hand with Superbrewed Food to be able to offer promising product innovations to consumers.

The deal between Bel and Superbrewed is timely as the dairy-free cheese market is facing rapid growth with retail sales going up by 7% to US$291million in 2021 according to SPINS.

The growth is attributed to several food service chains adding it to menus as they introduce plant-based meats but it still remains a tiny part of the overall cheese category.

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