TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — NewMoo, Ltd., an Israel-based food tech startup, is using plant molecular farming to produce casein proteins for plant-based cheese and dairy alternatives.

Co-founded in 2021 by Daphna Miller and Hod Yanover to offer alternative, dairy-free products, NewMoo shared that it has raised $7 million in seed funding, led by Lool and Zora Ventures.

The company said the funding helped build leadership personnel, its R&D process for the seeds, and its downstream process of NewMoo’s liquid casein for cheese producers.

NewMoo said it formulates alternative, animal-free cheese by expressing casein proteins in plant seeds that grow through traditional field agriculture. The company’s technology uses the expression of two or more caseins within a single plant, and the seeds are then planted in fields.

Once grown, the company harvests the plants and creates its casein liquid base through a process that creates a liquid casein that may replicate dairy cheese.

“Our animal-free liquid casein mimics all the functional traits of real milk protein for crafting cheese the traditional way,” Miller said. “This means it can seamlessly replace dairy milk in any dairy cheese manufacturing facility without the need for any special equipment or reconfiguration of existing equipment. NewMoo’s caseins can form the basis for a cheese that has the exact melting and stretching behavior as animal dairy cheese and delivers the typical aroma, flavor and texture that cheese eaters crave. Our animal-free proteins are literally identical to animal-derived caseins.”

The company also said the technology eliminates the need for bioreactor machinery, making its process scalable for simple implementation.

“We intimately understand the needs of food companies,” Miller said. “Unlike protein powders, the NewMoo liquid casein is production-ready, helping streamline production and go-to-market. As opposed to current precision fermentation practices, our approach doesn’t require expensive bioreactor machinery to grow our proteins. The plant seeds themselves act as bioreactors. This gives us the flexibility to produce these complex proteins in abundance and at exceptional cost parity.”

Added Yanover, vice president of food development for NewMoo: “Our goal is to assist dairy cheese manufacturers broaden their market scope to include the burgeoning flexitarian demographic. We empower cheesemakers to create delectable and nutritious guilt-free products with ease and at no added costs.”