CASE STUDY

Establishing regulatory frameworks for next-generation dairy alternatives

Client Background

New-age dairy alternative company

The client is a European company working on dairy products made using precision fermentation.

Challenge/Opportunity

Navigating regulatory uncertainty

The client wanted to know if the existing regulations for conventional dairy products could be applicable to their own product. This included processing techniques like pasteurization, heat treatment, and even microbiological parameters. 

Dairy is a complex product, and the standards and methods currently in place are the result of a long body of research and evidence. But with new products like dairy made via precision fermentation, there are no set guidelines or any standardized ways of making sure the food is safe. 

So, the client needed a completely different set of rules and processes to be followed for safety and regulatory mechanisms that would be acceptable within European standards. 

Expert

Mathilde Do Chi

The expert who worked with this client was Mathilde Do Chi.

Mathilde is a highly experienced professional in the field of food law and regulatory assessment, specializing in alternative proteins, plant-based, and vegan products. With a strong passion for veganism and sustainability, Mathilde has dedicated her career to ensuring compliance and advocating for the vegan food industry. She has held key positions in various organizations, contributing her expertise in food law, certification, and regulatory support. 

During the past few years, she has worked for both the private and public sectors, namely for law firms, an intellectual property firm, a food supplement consultancy, the French and Japanese governments, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and ADM. 

As the CEO and Principal Consultant of Vegan Food Law, Mathilde provides comprehensive food law and regulatory assessment services for both existing and newly developed alternative protein products. She assists clients in navigating private label support, certification communication, food law questions, vegan claim assessment, and novel food applications in Europe (the EU, UK, and Switzerland), North America (the US and Canada), the Gulf region, Singapore, and Australia and New Zealand. Her knowledge and experience help companies meet regulatory requirements and successfully bring their vegan products to market. 

Mathilde also plays a significant role in the Vegan World Alliance, where she is involved in writing and reviewing standards and codes of conduct for companies selling vegan products and services. She engages in communication with national members and public officials, offering regulatory support to companies, non-profit organizations, and governments. Her contributions help shape the vegan industry's guidelines and promote the adoption of sustainable and ethical practices.

Solution

Building from the ground up

New-age companies that use new technologies like precision fermentation are just finding their footing from a processing perspective. They need a completely different set of rules and processes that need to be followed for safety and regulatory mechanisms. The challenge here is that while this is a good approach, it isn’t always guaranteed to work because dairy made from precision fermentation does not have the same raw materials and components of conventional dairy. 

Given that the client’s product is so new and standards don’t still don’t exist, Mathilde needed to create standards from scratch for the client to follow. This involved looking at their entire supply chain, the ingredients, the processing techniques and methods used to pinpoint any specific risks during every step of the manufacturing process.

Based on these steps, Mathilde created a completely new list of safety parameters and indicators to follow and to present to authorities when needed. Each individual raw material or ingredient needed to be checked to see if it would pose a safety risk. She also set up a list of microbiological parameters for the client to meet as well as food safety measures in the factory. 

In addition to this safety checklist, Mathilde also helped the client figure out what claims and nomenclature would work best for communicating with consumers. She also assessed the legality of marketing claims the client might be able to use when commercializing the product.

RESULT

Impact

Mathilde analyzed the client’s methodology and set up the new measures in less than four months. With the setting up of these safety measures, the dairy alternative product is set to be launched this year, featuring the claim of “vegan”.

Mathilde is an outstanding professional who combines in-depth industry and regulatory knowledge with a hands-on and flexible collaborative approach. She is a fantastic supporter and was able to extensively support our organization across various departments, from R&D to product development, to packaging and more. I would strongly and highly recommend her, especially when it comes to launching a new product into the market. Her expertise and knowhow definitely makes your life a lot easier.

Reach out if you would like regulatory and compliance support for your next-generation products.

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