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Global cheese giant, The Bel Group, is partnering with biotech startup Climax Foods to develop a new generation of “zero compromise” plant-based cheese that is both delectable and sustainable. The collaboration aims to create plant-based alternatives to Bel Group’s popular Laughing Cow®, Kiri®, Boursin®, Babybel®, and Nurishh® brand cheeses. As part of the partnership, Bel Group has also acquired an equity stake in Climax Foods for an undisclosed amount.

The upcoming plant-based cheeses promise to be “best in class,” indistinguishable from their dairy counterparts while being nutritious, affordable, and boasting a lower carbon footprint. These products will be different from the dairy-free BabyBel and Boursin that Bel Group has previously released in the US and Canada.

Climax Foods uses advanced predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to gain a deeper understanding of animal-based foods at the molecular level. This knowledge allows them to create plant-based versions that perfectly match the texture, flavor, and nutritional density of their animal-based counterparts. With AI-driven product development, the company can significantly reduce the time it takes to create plant-based recipes from the vast array of plants available.

Cécile Béliot, CEO of the Bel Group, expressed her excitement about the collaboration, stating that the products they will develop together have the potential to be sustainable, nutritious, and accessible. She believes that the partnership exemplifies the co-innovation strategy by combining Climax’s unique AI and data science technology with Bel’s pioneering and historical knowledge.

Dr. Oliver Zahn, CEO and founder of Climax Foods, highlighted the importance of AI and data in delivering optimal taste and texture in food while also making it affordable and sustainable. He believes that their partnership with Bel will have a significant positive impact on both people and the planet.

Climax’s food scientists have already developed various prototypes of specialty cheeses, including blue, brie, feta, and goat varieties. This month, the company plans to begin rolling out its blue cheese, known as Climax Blue, to foodservice operators across the US.

The partnership with Bel Group will help meet the challenge of scaling up quickly and effectively. Bel aims to launch the products in the US and Europe by the end of 2024, contributing to its goal of achieving a portfolio balance of 50 percent dairy products and 50 percent plant-based/fruit products.

Now’s the time to embrace the future of cheese! Get ready to taste the incredible plant-based creations that will soon be hitting the shelves. Support these sustainable options and be part of the movement towards a greener, more eco-friendly world. Let’s say cheese to a delicious, nutritious, and accessible plant-based future!

Check out these vegan cheese recipes you can make at home:

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