Whey is a by-product of cheese-making that finds uses in a range of finished products, such as beverages, ice cream, yoghurt, bread and cookies etc, to add texture or protein. But because of the carotenoids in it, whey is naturally a green-yellow colour; when annatto is used to make more orange-coloured cheeses, the resulting whey has a more orange colour, too.
According to DSM, coloured is not very well received on the market, as it cannot be used for end products that are white. Whiter whey ingredients can command a higher price than coloured variants, with general market prices for commercial whey products varying between €75 and €125.
In the past, whey processors have tended to use hydrogenperoxide or benzylperoxide to bleach their whey, DSM says this practice brings its own problems: It is said to create off-flavours and irregularities in the protein levels.
“Achieving the desired white colour is a priority for manufacturers in terms of securing a price premium, but this cannot be at the expense of taste or functionality – which is the downside of using traditional bleaching methods,” said Rutger van Rooijen, new business development manager at DSM Food Specialties.
The new enzyme is a fungal peroxidase called MaxiBright. It is said to hydrolyse the molecules that are responsible for the colouration, rendering white without the use of harsh chemicals and preserving the whey’s integrity. It does not produce off-flavours, but means the whey still has a ‘clean’ taste, the company says.
The company first introduced MaxiBright to the food industry at the FiE trade show in Frankfurt this week. The first market to receive it is Europe, but global roll-out is planned for 2010.
A spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com that the product is aimed at whey processors. The first introduction is intended for dairy applications, but other applications are in development.
The company says several patents are pending for MaxiBright.