Novozymes, Chr Hansen alliance launches first new cheese enzyme

By Chris Mercer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chr hansen, Milk

A next-generation enzyme solution that increases mozzarella yields
for dairy firms is the first major launch to emerge from
ground-breaking collaboration between top ingredients firms Chr
Hansen and Novozymes.

The new solution, named YieldMax, will be launched this week and has been under development for around five years.

The two firms, both inside Europe's top four enzyme producers, said YieldMax could increase mozzarella yields by around two per cent.

"This may not seem like very much to the untrained eye, but it is in fact a fine result,"​ said Steffen Ernst, Novozymes R&D director. "In comparison, it is estimated that the combined efforts of the entire dairy industry has increased yield by just one per cent over the last decade."

Knud Vindfeldt, executive vice president for cultures and enzymes at Chr Hansen, told​ that YieldMax was part of a new breed of enzymes.

He said its development could only have been brought about so quickly by the "never before seen"​ alliance between Chr Hansen and Novozymes, combining technical expertise with dairy market knowledge for the last three years.

"Novozymes would simply not have had enough knowledge in the dairy industry, but we would not have had the scientific or production muscle to have taken this to the market on our own,"​ said Vindfeldt.

Chr Hansen has dealt with sales, marketing and technical support, while Novozymes has contributed research, development and production knowledge.

YieldMax is the first product of the partnership, and the firms are working on more. Vindfeldt said they planned "to have something of the magnitude that we are launching today every third year"​.

YieldMax will first be launched in the US, at the World Wide Food expo in Chicago, yet the two firms have applied for a joint patent in both the US and the EU. Chr Hansen announced today that a top 10 US dairy had already placed the first order.

Vindfeldt said the EU patent application was progressing quite well and that the firms had "made a substantial amount of cheese"​ during rigourous testing.

He said that the product was highly technical and that Chr Hansen had also prepared an advice service to help dairy firms find the right dosage and tell them certain things they need to know about using YieldMax.

Vindfeldt added that dairy enzymes had a good deal of unfulfilled potential, despite being the largest segment of Europe's €200bn food enzyme market.

"Both companies have a firm belief that enzymes could do more in the dairy industry than they have been doing in the last 50 years. It is a great way to help dairies obtain better productivity."

He said a number of different areas were interesting, including texture improvement, fermented milk, whey and lactose, while ingredients firms were also increasingly interested in how to use enzymes and cultures to make healthier dairy products.

Flavour has become important too, and another of Europe's top ingredients firms, Danisco, last week launched a new tutti-frutti ripening culture for soft cheeses.

Chr Hansen, however, has also been right in the centre of dairy innovation. The firm was placed ahead of its rivals in European dairy enzymes in a recent report by Frost & Sullivan​, and the group recently opened the world's biggest dairy cultures plant in France.

Novozymes is the number one enzymes player, making the 'grand alliance' look pretty formidable.

Related topics: Ingredients, Cheese

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