SAN FRANCISCO — Climax Foods Inc. shared that it discovered a plant-based protein ingredient that may replicate the functionality, flavor, performance, melt and stretch of dairy protein casein.

Climax Foods said it replicated casein using plant ingredients aided by artificial intelligence (AI). The company created the casein replacement using its precision formulation, which combines data science with machine intelligence.

“While our work is based on a deep scientific understanding of plants, we don’t have any need to genetically engineer plants to create our unique proteins,” said Daniel Westcott, head of protein and texture at Climax Foods. “An immeasurable range of protein diversity and combinations already exists; we simply use data science and machine learning to pay very, very close attention. This gives us the ability to model and verify formulations at the microscopic level in a fraction of the time that it would take a traditional approach.”

The team identified an alternative solution found in occurring plant proteins that may bring melt and stretch to plant-based cheeses, the company said.

“As foodies and scientists, we have a profound appreciation for the complex flavors and textures of dairy products, but also recognize their vast inefficiencies — such as requiring 700 gallons of water to make one pound of cheese,” said Oliver Zahn, chief executive officer of Climax Foods. “Our production process uses 500 times less water at our current pilot scale.”