Chr Hansen is set to extend a US culture system across Europe to balance demand for bulk production of more complex continental cheeses, which it says can ensure both product consistency and cost efficiency.
To target consumer demand for products like edam, gouda and manchego cheeses, the group says it is now making its Easy Set concept commercially available in select markets in Eastern Europe as well as Spain and France. Easy Set was designed and originally launched onto the North American market as a means of allowing for mass production of cheeses starting from around 15,000 tonnes of output a year.
Soeren Herskind, marketing manager for the group’s cheese culture operations, told DairyReporter.com that after a controlled launch over the last year, it would be opening up the products to the wider European market.
The company says that the launch may eventually lead towards providing all-round solutions for culture use in cheese, providing companies with bacteria, sanitary and fermentation know-how for dairy innovation.
Herskind claimed that in the current financial downturn, the launch would allow manufacture of more complex multi-strain cultures for making continental cheeses that can aid processors during the current market uncertainty.
“In the current financial climate, manufacturers are seeking cost efficiency and product consistency, all while maintaining brand equity by addressing taste and profile trends like low-fat goods,” he stated.
In introducing Easy Set in European markets, Chr Hansen said that it had launched slightly different culture products to its US counterpart, which were designed to provide bulk efficiency for cheddars and pizza cheeses not intended to have as strong flavour profiles.
The cultures come in highly concentrated and standardised frozen or freeze-dried forms for direct inoculation into milk, which, says Chr Hansen, offers flexibility, consistent performance and production efficiency.
For the commercial availability of the scheme in the markets of both Eastern and Western Europe, Herskind said that the company was focusing on the biggest continental sub cultures of cheese such as gouda and edam. Further expansion into markets and other subcultures of continental cheese are then expected in the future, according to the company.
To aid expansion into the bloc, the company says that in order to secure consistency it can provide a number of cultures for back up in case of any unexpected supply issues.
In addition, Herskind said that Chr Hansen also works with producers to ensure that sanitation measures are sufficient for their manufacturing as part of a wider future focus on optimising production and the fermentation process.
In the area of multi-strain culture innovation, the company said it hopes to continue working towards larger batch customised taste profiles for different manufacturers, a move its claims remains a key future aim.