Danisco looking to bridge cost and quality cheese needs

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Cheese

While continuing to supply cultures for both bulk and more artisanal cheese products, Danisco believes bridging the needs for finished quality and production efficiency will be vital in meeting processor demands.

John Rea, global business director for the company’s cheese cultures unit, told DairyReporter.com that, while adapting to unique differences in national processor demand, cheese making still had to provide core characteristics.

“Our solutions need to be effective and low cost - yet add value to the final product in terms of consumer appeal - whether that be flavour, texture or aspect,”​ he stated. “We will continue to seek rare strains with extreme functionalities and improve our processes to provide these new solutions at a cost attractive to the industry.”

Two-tier approach

Rea said that the company currently operated its worldwide cheese cultures business by targeting two specific requirements.

These requirements, according to the group, involve focusing on potential productivity improvements for industrial cheese and providing in terms of quality characteristics needed for more specialty products like certain Italian hard cheeses.

With the company increasingly looking to play up these two commitments in its culture developments, Rea claimed that the group estimates to have developed hundreds of different cultures to meet very specific national and regional needs.

Taking the example of France, where the group currently houses its culture headquarters, Danisco estimated that about 400 different cultures are thought to have been developed for cheese makers.

“It is similar in North America and it is still amazing to me what the dairy industry can do with, in principle, the same raw material, Milk,”​ stated Rea.

Niche markets

Although Danisco is attempting to use this knowledge to globally provide products like blue and white mould cultures for Stilton, Danish blue and camembert, markets like the US and Asia remained niche compared to Europe.

Even in producing cheddar varieties, a growing UK trend of using strains of helviticus to provide certain sweet flavour properties remained much rarer in North America, according to the company.

Rea said that although the US had seen examples of manufacturers supplying examples of more higher value cheeses, Asia was very much a fledgling market.

“Asia remains a dream for now, we hope and wish they will start to consume cheese in significant quantities, but although a positive trend exists today the industry and consumption remains small relative to Europe and North America,”​ he stated.

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