Page 33 - Food&Drink magazine November-December 2022
P. 33

                  Engineering compassion
Sarah Qian studied chemical engineering, completed her thesis in cancer research, and was working as a management consultant before finding her true calling, making the world’s first oat crème cheese, Compassion Creamery.
HAVING grown up in New Zealand, drinking dairy milk every day of her life, it was a move to Sydney to study chemical engineering that turned Sarah Qian vegan. Well, not directly and not overnight, but these things did all overlap.
Being a vegan 7.5 years ago looked very different to today, with many people now adopting diets that are more plant-based as well as there being much
postbiotics is the excretion from the bacteria that is eating the fibre,” Robinson explains.
“These secondary compounds help us enormously. They lower inflammation, regulate our immune system and help make neurotransmitters. That is the gift bacteria gives us,” Koch says.
For C-Biogenics’ functional powders Gut Food and Calm Food, Koch and Robinson use a specific strain of bacteria and fermentation process. The compounds are collected and turned into a powder.
“We are a rogue in the food manufacturing industry because of our therapeutic standpoint. We won’t use any emulsifiers, additives, flavourings, or colourings.
“But then the worry creeps in around the product’s palatability and mixability. Consumers have been conditionedtoexpecta
greater choice on the shelf. But for Qian there was still a
large gap... cheese.
“There are so many plant
milks but my reaction to vegan cheeses has always been ‘ugh’. Then everyone started raving about oat milk and how much they loved their oat milk lattes. “It sparked an idea about using oats to make a vegan cheese. I thought, maybe it was an opportunity to use my skills
functional powder to dissolve or blend instantly or even taste a particular way,” Koch says.
But the pair decided to “own it”, choosing to not compromise on the ingredients’ efficacy while also ensuring the products taste delicious.
“We are constantly working on the products, educating our customers that the reason it needs twenty seconds to mix is because of its authenticity and lack of additives, and that it is a functional food.
“We have an innate drive to help people heal and C-Biogenics allows us to do that on a scale not possible in a clinical setting.
“This way we can help thousands, and working towards hundreds of thousands, of people,” Robinson says.
Their third product is set for release early next year, with moreinthepipeline. ✷
on a project that would be deeply connected to my personal values,” she says.
“It took me around 250 versions over about 18 months until I got one that worked. I’ve been working non-stop ever since to ensure consistency across every batch.
We use traditional dairy cheesemaking methods and combine it with our innovative oat base which is cultured and
fermented... unlike almost all vegan cheeses, it doesn’t contain coconut oils or starches, nuts or soy.
When asked about the brand name, Qian explains it has multiple meanings.
“The compassion in the brand name reflects the vegan principles of compassion for animals and the environment but there’s also an element of self-compassion. When I was working in the corporate world, it felt so foreign to me.
“Starting Compassion Creamery was when I showed myself compassion to do something I loved, rather than compromising myself.
“My ultimate vision is for someone to open the fridge door, see the cream cheese and think to themselves, “You know what? I should just take a breather. Whatever it is that I’m stressing out about, it’s going to be okay”. Like a little tub of remindedness inyourfridge.” ✷ | November-December 2022 | Food&Drink business | 33

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