The plant-based ice cream from Eclipse Foods, a Bay Area startup, is made with ingredients like oats, potatoes, and corn. But because of the company’s process—a patent-pending combination of heat, pressure, and other steps—it mimics the molecular structure of dairy.
“We looked at alternative proteins in the food system at large, and what needs to be done,” says Eclipse Foods cofounder and CEO Aylon Steinhart. “What we saw is that for meat, Impossible and Beyond were actually doing a great job at creating plant-based meat products that would actually be replacements for mainstream consumers, as opposed to substitutes like a black bean burger or a quinoa burger . . . . Then we looked at dairy. Ironically, even though there were tons of substitutes like soy milk or oat ice cream or cashew cheese, there was really no one-for-one replacement for dairy that would win over mainstream consumers across the board.”