SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. — New Culture shared that its animal-free casein protein has been deemed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) through a review by an independent panel of scientific and toxicology experts.

The company’s self-GRAS determination allows its animal-free casein to be sold, used and consumed in the United States.

To achieve GRAS status, New Culture’s casein, which is manufactured using precision fermentation, matched the identity and macro-nutritional flavor profile of cow casein that it replaces, while using a manufacturing process that is reproducible, meets industry standards and is food safe, according to the company.

“Having secured another ‘world’s first’ for our animal-free casein is a testament to the hard working and innovative team we have at New Culture,” said Inja Radman, co-founder and chief science officer of New Culture. “Achieving GRAS status proves that animal inputs aren’t needed to produce casein protein and marks an essential step on our path toward commercialization.”

In August, the company scaled up its fermentation process to manufacturing volumes to produce its animal-free mozzarella cheese using precision fermentation. The company is planning to introduce its animal-free mozzarella at pizzerias later this year.