Change Foods specialises in precision fermentation, a cellular level bioengineering technology which the firm is using to develop dairy products without actually requiring the presence of a cow for milk, starting with cheeses.
“Dairy is the perfect application for precision fermentation because it allows you to mimic the key components that make dairy dairy, and this mimicking will have an impact for many mainstream consumers,” Bucca told FoodNavigator-Asia.
“Coming from the aerospace engineering into the food industry, it was very exciting for me to bring some of the high technology and manufacturing knowledge over.
“They are very different, but there are still parallels to be drawn between the two industries too – both involve innovation, technology and thinking out of the box, especially with the new food ‘movement’ that is underway.
“In Australia especially, the niche for technology is very much for high technology, high innovation and high R&D manufacturing so this new food ‘movement’ in this high technology space is actually quite fitting to start a new manufacturing sector locally.”
Bucca also highlighted how the industry mentality towards technological development is still quite different between both sectors, with food noticeably behind in terms of acceptance and progress, especially when cost considerations come into play.
“When I was at Boeing, the mentality was always generally that ‘we should be the best at becoming better’ in their manufacturing, but with food there tends to be a bit of status quo,” he said.
“There are a lot of commercial and cost pressures here causing this, which is also good as it also drives improvement, but from a technology point of view, this means a lot of [stagnation].
“Also, in aerospace engineering there are many well-documented processes and methods to follow and it’s all about systems and control – this is less so with food, where operation and control is truly on a very wide spectrum depending on the company, and it was very eye-opening to me to see that variation.”
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