Chile-based NotCo replicates the taste and texture of animal food products using AI, biochemistry and plants.
Situated at the intersection of food and technology, NotCo (The Not Company) used artificial intelligence to create the world’s smartest chef. Nicknamed Guiseppe, the advanced algorithm examines the molecular structures of meat and dairy products and attempts to replicate them using plant material.
The company says the secret to creating notably good-tasting vegan meats, eggs, milk and cheeses is to find plants that have similar molecular structures. The final product should have almost identical flavors and textures. When Guiseppe creates a recipe, the algorithm not only considers the relative availability of various plants, it also tries to enhance nutrition by including additional sustainable ingredients. Products available so far are NotMilk (made from nuts, rice, peas, linseed, and coconut), NotHotdogs, NotChocolate, NotMayo, with more in development.
With animal agriculture using nearly a quarter of the world’s water supply and 45 percent of available land, meat and dairy products are especially unsustainable and environmentally unfriendly. By helping people eat more healthily without compromising flavor and texture, NotCo hopes to lead a revolution in sustainable protein.
So far, much of the work in food tech has focused either on the processes of buying, selling and delivery, such as paying for coffee with a smart cup, or finding new methods of sustainable production — even if it is in the form of desktop hive farms. NotCo takes the tech directly into the kitchen, creating recipes designed to be used by the average cook.
Are there other industries that could use plant-based, molecular-level replication to increase sustainability?