The 8,300 square foot center includes a sensory lab, an applications lab, a new product development lab and a processing room for pilot trials.
“The new center is key to providing specific application support. It is a great resource and offers us more flexibility when developing functional ingredient solutions for our customers,” said Protient’s vice president of technologies, Dr Ewan Ha.
He said the center, which is currently run by six employees, will serve the firm’s customers in North and South America, and in Asia.
The $1m facility is located in Eagan, Minnesota, and will also house the firm’s R&D and Quality departments.
New butter milk substitute
The first new product to be tested in the center is a new butter milk powder substitute, which the company expects will be ready to launch by the end of the year.
The whey-derived ingredient – named VitalMax 40 BMS – contains three times the amount of phospholipids compared to butter milk powder, which Ha said provides better emulsification properties.
It can also provide dairy flavor to products, as well as desired texture.
Whey protein expansion
Earlier this year, Protient – a subsidiary of ABF Ingredients – also expanded its whey protein isolate (WPI) capacity in order to meet increased demand for the ingredient.
The firm’s Juda, Wisconsin facility, which previously manufactured lactose and whey protein concentrate, was due to begin full-scale production of WPI in September.
The functional potential for whey protein includes promoting satiety in weight management products, as well as for sports nutrition, infant nutrition or immunity products.
Protient's bland flavored whey protein isolate is used primarily in low carbohydrate products, nutrition bars, and powdered beverages. The firm also said it is well suited for acidified ready to drink beverages, bakery goods and meat analogs.
Protient - ABF
In 2005, Protient was acquired by ABF Ingredients, a division of Associated British Foods. The move was expected to increase the US company’s sales on a global basis through ABF’s sales channels across Europe.
As well as its headquarters in Minnesota, Protient has manufacturing facilities in Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin.