This Startup Uses AI to Turn Animal-Based Foods Vegan

If a Chilean startup has its way, more vegan products could soon wind up on US store shelves with the help of artificial intelligence.

NotCo is using AI to create new, plant-based versions of popular animal-based foods like mayonnaise, yogurt, milk, and cheese. Reuters reports that the company has found some success back at home, inking deals to sell its "Not Mayo" product in supermarkets across Chile, and now it's looking towards the US market.

The company's software, dubbed Giuseppe, "breaks down foods into their basic molecular compositions, and then, employing machine-based learning, chooses vegetables that it can combine to imitate that structure," according to Reuters. "The result with 'Not Mayo' is a mayonnaise with a taste and texture uncannily like the standard version, only made from ingredients that include basil, peas, potatoes, and canola oil instead of eggs and vegetable oil."

NotCo Chief Executive Matias Muchnick told the news outlet that the team thinks of itself as "a tech company, not a food company."

Here in the US, NotCo has reportedly talked with some major players in the food business: including Hershey, Coca-Cola, and Mars about creating new versions of their chocolate and soda. Whether any deals come to fruition as a result of those talks remains to be seen.

Meanwhile on the food tech front, researchers in Finland have developed new mobile technology that could allow smartphones to tell you whether your leftovers in the refrigerator are still edible. The researchers are hoping to cooperate with companies to commercialize this technology and bring new optical sensor products to market.

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