Danisco said its new ripening culture, a Geotrichum candidum forming part of the Choozit range, was intended for a range of soft cheeses from goat's cheese to camembert. It will be unveiled at the up-coming Food Ingredients Europe (FIE) expo.
The group said its new culture had a high stability during the ripening process, and its fruity aroma helped to subdue the strong sulphuric flavour usually associated with Geotrichums - something a number of consumers dislike.
The culture also "offers the added advantage of producing a light rind in-between yeast and mould, therefore avoiding the unattractive appearance of a toad skin-like cheese surface", the firm said.
Nathalie Brosse, spokesperson for Danisco, said the new culture's aroma could help soft cheese makers to target new categories of consumers.
"This one is really interesting because it brings a very different type of flavour onto the market," said Brosse, adding that "we continue producing different flavours and providing something that will help our customers differentiate their products on the market".
New flavours are fast becoming a good and popular way for dairy firms to add value to, and extend, product lines.
A recent Frost & Sullivan report on Europe's enzyme market said demand for new flavours would be a key player in maintaining dairy enzyme innovation.
Brosse said Danisco has "worked a lot on the type of flavours we can provide" as a main way for firms to set their products apart from others in an increasingly competitive branded dairy sector.
Danisco now believes itself to be the leader in cheese ripening cultures, and the group was named as one of Frost & Sullivan's 'big four' in Europe's €200bn food enzyme market, alongside Novozymes, Chr Hansen and DSM.
Brosse said one of the reasons Danisco has progressed so well in ripening cultures was that it had improved its ability to screen different strains, examining a range of factors such as appearance, texture and robustness.
She added that Danisco's cultures division had just begun working with the group's flavours arm to develop new sensory analysis equipment. The group believes this will help it to be even more specific when choosing new strains for cultures.
This focus on innovation should also benefit the group in an enzyme market where research continues to focus on improving product performance of existing products and on the development of novel enzymes for specific niche applications.
"At a time of increasing price sensitivity and increasing market competition, on-going product development is crucial to survival," said Frost & Sullivan.
Danisco Cultures will also present its new YO-MIX Real Quick 800 series at FIE 2005. The cultures make fermentation around one hour quicker than standard yoghurt cultures, the group says.
"YO-MIX Real Quick is the starting point of a new generation of faster and more robust yoghurt cultures born from years of upstream research on strain screening and selection," said Catherine Duong, fresh dairy business manager at Danisco Cultures.
DairyReporter.com will publish an interview with Danisco's dairy business manager later this week.