The 4th International Symposium on Recombined Milk and Milk products in Mexico, emphasised the need to communicate milk's nutritional benefits to consumers, develop new products and improve packaging and shelf-life.
"The next generation of designer dairy products may come from recombining technology," said Dr. Phillip Tong, co-chair of the technical committee at California Polytechnic State University. "The more we understand about taking milk apart and putting it back together again, the better prepared we'll be to deliver solutions for consumer needs in any market segment of the world."
The growing influence of the recombined dairy market was reflected by its international flavour, with more than 335 people attending from over 30 countries, with broad representation from all aspects of the industry. Wayne Sanderson of the Australian co-op Murray Goulburn, sought to quell fears from local dairy industries that the presence of recombined milk products may stifle the development of the fresh dairy industry. He said figures showed that the opposite was true, and that recombined milk products had helped stimulate domestic production.
The programme also focused on the evolution of high-value dairy proteins for formulating recombined dairy products, nutritional foods, fermented products and infant formulas. With half of the conference sessions concerning the use of whey, whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate in recombined products.
"Whey proteins will play a larger role in recombined dairy products because of their functional attributes and nutraceutical properties," said Dr William Haine, vice president of product research for Dairy Management.
The 'Symposia' stressed the importance of recombined milk products for underdeveloped countries. Octavio Aguilar, chairman of LICONSA, the Mexican government agency that makes and distributes milk products for needy consumers, claimed that in many parts of the world recombination is the only method of bringing milk to consumers, while also delivering it's essential nutrients to children.