Recombined white, processed and cream cheeses can be created using Arla’s Nutrilac functional milk proteins, water and fat (usually butterfat or anhydrous milk fat), Arla says.
The processes can be carried out on existing recombining machinery and generates no whey side-stream, which maximises output and reduces waste, it claims.
The manufacture of recombined cheese is particularly common in parts of the world where there is limited access to fresh milk, such as Latin America, Africa, South East Asia, China and Russia.
Recombined liquid milk and simple yogurts are widely made with rehydrated milk powders, but recombined cheeses have proved difficult to produce until now, Arla claims.
Claus Anderson, category manager for Arla Foods Ingredients, says: “Shoppers in emerging markets are now seeking more sophisticated dairy products, such as speciality cheeses, bringing their tastes more into line with western consumers.
“To meet this demand without access to fresh milk is not an easy job.”
However, Nutrilac allows dairy manufacturers to meet demand for high-quality, affordable and nourishing speciality cheeses, which have the same mouthfeel and taste as cheese made with fresh milk, Anderson adds.
Recombined dairy products are also expected to rise in importance in the EU when milk quotas are abolished on April 1.
Abolition of quotas
“After the abolition of quotas, there will be no restrictions on how much milk Member States can produce, which almost certainly means there will be a surplus of fresh milk,” Anderson explains.
However, much of the surplus milk will be converted into dairy ingredients and sold into markets outside Europe, such as those with limited access to fresh milk, where it will be used to produce recombined dairy products, he believes.
“Overall, as a result of increasing affluence in emerging markets, demand for cheese alone is expected to rise by up to 25% by 2024.”