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Bel and Climax Foods announce partnership

The Bel Group has partnered with biotech start-up Climax Foods, to innovate plant-based cheeses that are "indistinguishable" from their dairy counterparts. The partnership aims to create a new generation of plant-based cheese aiming to meet the main challenges of food transition: combining pleasure and nutrition, while reducing carbon footprint. The companies will leverage data science and AI to co-create affordable plant-based alternatives of Laughing Cow, Kiri, Boursin, Babybel and Nurishh brand foods. Cécile Béliot, CEO of the Bel Group, said: "The products we will develop in partnership with Climax have the potential to make a big difference: they can meet the three-fold challenge of sustainable, nutritious, and accessible. This collaboration epitomises our co-innovation strategy by combining their distinctive technological data science and AI platforms and expertise with Bel's pioneering and historical knowledge." Climax Foods’ predictive analytics and AI enable a deep level of understanding of animal-based foods at the molecular level. Climax uses the knowledge to replicate animal-based products with plant-based versions that are said to match the texture, flavour and nutrition density. The start-up’s AI-powered product development significantly reduces the time required to create plant-based recipes. Climax states that: “Comparatively, it would take billions of years to create the same recipes using traditional product development”. Dr Oliver Zahn, CEO and founder of Climax Foods, commented: "AI and data can be game changers in food in terms of delivering optimal taste and texture while at the same time making it affordable and sustainable. In addition to changing consumer preferences, climate change requires us to accelerate the evolution of food. Together with Bel, we can make a significant positive impact so that people and the planet are better off." Climax’s team of food scientists have already successfully created prototypes with characteristics of speciality cheeses, including blue, brie, feta and goat varieties. Bel aims to launch these new plant-based products in the US and Europe by the end of 2024, contributing to Bel’s objective to balance its portfolio with 50 per cent of dairy products and 50 per cent of plant-based or fruit products. To support the development of Climax's solution, Bel acquired an equity stake in the company. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. You may also like to read:

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