Vegan Startup Makes Molecular Copycats of Animal Products

Chilean startup The Not Company uses a food-analyzing computer to create vegan replicas of animal products on a molecular level.

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Chile-based startup The Not Company has created “Giuseppe,” an artificial-intelligence computer that is said to be “the smartest food scientist”—reconstructing the molecular structures of animal products to engineer vegan copycats of flavors and textures. According to the company, the computer is “set to enhance nutrition availability while taking care of the environment, so it not only understands human perception of taste and texture suggesting clever recipes to create tasty foods, but it also understands there’s a relative availability and use of resources for every single living thing.” With the help of Giuseppe, the company is creating products such as Not Hot Dogs, Not Cheese, and Not Milk—made from mushrooms, linseed, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. Founder Matias Muchnik explained that “if we were to start from scratch … to figure out the most efficient way to deliver nutrition to the 7.1 billion people on this planet, the answer wouldn’t be animals. Science would tell you to do something different.” Not Milk—which will hit shelves in Chile later this month and retail for half the price of almond milk—joins a slew of innovative milk alternatives such as Muufri, Califia Farms, and Silk (to name a few) currently contributing to the $2.09 billion (and growing) dairy-free market.