SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. – Animal-free dairy cheese manufacturer New Culture named Binita Bhattacharjee its vice president of process development and engineering, as the company aims to accelerate time to market for its debut product, an animal-free mozzarella.

The Bay Area-based company produces casein, a dairy protein, without animal inputs and combines precision fermentation with traditional cheesemaking. Its cheese is scheduled to be available in select dining experiences in 2023.

Bhattacharjee will lead New Culture's fermentation and downstream processing teams and external co-manufacturing and research partners as the company develops production capacity for commercialization.

"Binita is a world-class engineer, scientist and leader with deep experience harnessing bioprocess to produce innovative, sustainable products," said Inja Radman, co-founder and chief science officer of New Culture. "By adding her to the helm of our impressive fermentation and downstream process development teams, we are one step closer to bringing New Culture mozzarella to market."

Bhattacharjee’s career has involved process technology evaluation and development, techno-economic modeling, logistics and engineering functions. She served as senior director of process development at biotech company Amyris prior to joining New Culture. She also has professional experience leading teams to produce sustainable products.

She earned her PhD, as well as a master’s in science, from MIT, and a bachelor’s from the University of California, Berkeley.

"New Culture is revolutionizing the dairy industry with its use of precision fermentation and I am thrilled to be a part of the team's important mission," Bhattacharjee said. "After almost a decade at Amyris, I'm eager to dive into this exciting next step with New Culture to bring delicious, sustainable dairy products to the market."

Investors in New Culture include Kraft Heinz's Evolv Ventures, ADM Ventures, S2G Ventures, Mayfield, CPT Capital, Ahren Innovation Capital and Future Ventures.