De Novo Dairy

Startup | Fermentation

Cape Town, South Africa ・ 2021 ・

Our Story

First African company to use fermentation to produce animal-free dairy that provides the same sensory experience & nutrition as traditional dairy

“De Novo” is a Latin expression used in English to mean “from the beginning” or “a new”. Our mission at De Novo Dairy is to create the dairy products that we all know and love, but from a new beginning, one that doesn’t involve cows. We produce recombinant milk proteins through fermentation, identical to those found in cow’s milk, that can be seamlessly integrated into animal-free dairy products. Since milk proteins are largely associated with the physiochemical behavior, taste and texture of traditional dairy, our products provide that familiar sensory experience of traditional dairy, as well as the nutritional benefits, but in a far more ethical, sustainable, and efficient manner.
De Novo dairy formed when Jean and Leah were working independently from Richard and Joni on opposite sides of the country towards a mutual idea of bringing convincing, delicious dairy substitutes to the South African market through fermentation technology. Introduced through a mutual connection within the emerging alternative protein industry in South Africa, Jean, Leah, Richard, and Joni knew after just a couple of meetings that their impact as a single company would far exceed what either could do alone, and they effortlessly merged.
De Novo Dairy is currently based in Cape Town South Africa, and we are the first precision fermentation company on the African continent within the alternative protein space. We are focused on bringing rich decadent ice cream, nutritious creamy yoghurt and stretchy melty cheese to the market because eating sustainably and ethically shouldn’t mean that consumers need to compromise on taste or nutrition