The “irresistible pleasure of cheese” is a step closer for everyone
14th November 2023
A Massey technology for producing plant-based cheese rivalling dairy cheese received international interest at the 2023 Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin. Developed by food scientists at Massey University’s Riddet Institute, the Chedda-V technology solves a major industry problem: Adding protein to plant-based cheese without compromising on the taste and texture. Dr Debashree Roy, a Postdoctoral Fellow and co-inventor of Chedda-V was selected to represent New Zealand at the global finale in a day full of breakthrough innovation pitches. Dr Roy’s success builds on growing interest in the technology from industry and investors as the technology moves towards commercialisation.
Above: Dr Debashree Roy pitches Chedda-V plant-based cheese technology at the 2023 Falling Walls Science Summit.
“Unlike dairy cheeses, plant-based cheeses, worldwide, lack protein,” says Dr Debashree Roy as she opens her pitch at the Falling Walls Science Summit 2023. “… the current options [for plant-based cheeses] fail miserably in nutrition, taste, and price” she continues. Until now.
“Imagine a world where the irresistible pleasure of cheese is not limited by dietary choices,” Dr Roy said.
Dr Roy is a food technologist and co-inventor of Chedda-V, a technology developed in Massey University’s Riddet Institute, for producing plant-based alternatives rivalling dairy cheese. Unlike dairy cheese, which is naturally high in protein, plant-based cheeses require the addition of plant proteins that compromise the taste and texture. For this reason, most plant-based cheeses have poor nutritional profiles with little or no protein content.
Chedda-V is a patent pending technology that solves this industry-wide issue. Dr Roy says Chedda-V “…combines unique legume-based plant proteins with innovative texture development processes, creating a highly functional plant-protein base and enabling formulation of a variety of cheese products with protein content comparable to dairy cheeses”.
The new, scalable technology created by the Riddet Institute food innovation team can be used to make a range of different cheese types using a variety of plant-based proteins such as from pea or soy. The unique process enables plant-based cheese manufacturers to achieve protein levels similar to dairy cheese, without compromising on taste and texture.
In October 2023, Dr Roy pitched the breakthrough Chedda-V technology at the Falling Walls Lab NZ competition, winning a spot at the 2023 Falling Walls Science Summit in Berlin. The prestigious competition provides a global stage to students and early-career professionals to pitch their breakthrough ideas. Dr Roy was selected to represent New Zealand at the global finale, held on November 7th, 2023.
Riddet Institute Director the Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh congratulated Dr Roy on being selected for the Berlin science summit. “It is further recognition of the scientific quality of Dr Roy’s research and the Riddet Institute’s track record in training future leaders” he said.
Dr Roy joined the Riddet Institute as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2021, after completing her PhD in Food Technology at Massey University. Dr Roy’s research focused on the fundamental understanding and development of novel technologies to design structurally and nutritionally superior future foods.
You can watch Dr Roy’s pitch below:
Global interest in Chedda-V
Dr Roy’s success comes as the plant-based technology continues to attract global interest.
“This patent-pending technology solves a real issue for the plant-based cheese industry. Consumers want food that not only tastes great but is also good for them. Chedda-V gives these plant-based consumers better options when it comes to cheese and creates a unique competitive advantage for plant-based brands in an increasingly crowded market,” says Dr Dan Carlisle, Commercialisation Manager, Massey Ventures Ltd.
The technology is the latest in a long line of commercialisation success stories to emerge from the Riddet Institute at Massey University. In 2019, Massey secured a deal with global food-giant, Nestlé to commercialise Ferri-Pro. The novel technology enables the addition of iron to food in a format with 3x better iron absorption than other sources and without compromising flavour. The first products hit shelves in 2022 when Nestlé launched their affordable Bunyad Iron+ in Pakistan where 1-in-2 children are iron-deficient.
The commercialisation of a second technology developed at the Riddet Institute is yet to be announced, with Chedda-V likely to be the third commercialisation deal. Already, the technology has received interest from investors and industry players across the globe.
For more information on the Chedda-V technology and to explore commercialisation opportunities, contact the team at Massey Ventures.