The company recently acquired $2.5m from four investors, including BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation, Inc. for the new dairy technology, according to Dairyvative’s president and founder, Collette Sizer.
The new patented technology, aka SEVENx, helps cut the pasteurized fresh milk down to 14% of its original weight by removing up to 95% of the water, giving the milk a longer shelf life, Sizer told Dairy Reporter.
Dairyvative believes the concentrate can increase the domestic dairy milk consumption in the long term.
Trial process at the pilot center
Dairyvative started testing the milk-concentrating technology at the Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin (CDR).
“At that stage, our pilot center was strictly focused on research – establishing that the equipment worked, fine tuning the process, making a variety of concentrated products and establishing specifications for those products,” Sizer said.
Dairyvative later moved the research equipment to Reedsburg, WI, after it started witnessing demand for milk concentrate samples and consumer trial interest, Sizer said.
“We continue to do research to improve the products and fine tune the process. However, since receiving our dairy plant license, the pilot center has also become a production facility. We sell much of the product we make today for use in consumer trials. We’re sampling product internationally.”
The cost of pilot center staff and production can be expensive, Sizer added. So the money received from investors will be invested in the center’s four staff members, production process, and equipment enhancement.
Flavor and texture will be the same as typical skim milk once the water is added to the concentrate, and the nutritional ingredients, including vitamins, are not damaged, said Sizer.
Target consumers and market
The CEO of Dairyvative, Dr. Charles Sizer, told Dairy Reporter the company is selling the milk concentrate mainly to processors, and so far it has worked with four of them, who cannot be named because of confidentiality agreements.
The milk concentrate is likely to enter the market this coming January, Dr. Sizer said, and it will primarily be used as an ingredient in dairy products, such as yogurt.
Dairyvative is working with Cornelius Inc., a Chicago-based dispensing equipment maker, Sizer said, so that the milk can be rehydrated for consumption in a manner similar to soda.
“Today’s beverage dispensers are quite intriguing. On large unites, the consumer has as many as 70 options – pop, lemonade, fruit punch, more – and combinations of those flavors. We’re currently working with a small version of this type of dispenser that uses our sweetened SEVENx milk product as a base. The consumer has flavor options as well as the choice of still or carbonated selections.”
Outlook for the milk concentrate
Dr. Sizer said one of the advantages of this milk concentrate is that it can be transported to other parts of the world where dairy products are scarce.
Domestically, Sizer said many Americans are more likely to consume energy bars as their protein source than milk. Per capital consumption of milk is projected to decline drastically from 97.1 kg (214 lbs) in 2010 to 86.6 kg (190 lbs) by 2025, according to Statista.
By creating this shelf-stable milk concentrate, Sizer hopes to increase domestic milk consumption over the next decade.