Award for Novozymes’ Saphera shows importance of Latin America market

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Danish headquartered company Novozymes is doing well in the Latin American market, confirmed recently as the company’s dairy product, Saphera, took first place as most innovative functional ingredient at the "Fi Innovation Awards 2017" – the biggest award for the Brazilian food industry.

Saphera converts lactose in dairy to galactose and glucose. This enables dairy producers to reduce the amount of added sugars and still achieve the same degree of sweetness in lactose-free dairy products.

This offers the dairy producer the opportunity for more attractive product labels with claims of reduced added sugar.

Simon Lyndeggard, Novozymes director for food platforms and strategic development, told DairyReporter, “If you use Saphera, less oligosaccharides are being formed, and it makes it easier to do the lactose measurement at the end of the process. We are simply making the process of producing low lactose milk easier. It's easier to measure, and it's easier for the production path of dairy to release low lactose milk for packaging.”

Speeds up processing

He said using Saphera speeds up the process because companies don't have to sit on large inventories of work-in-progress low-lactose milk, and consequently there is less waste.

Fabricio Leal Rocha, regional marketing manager, Latin America, told DairyReporter Saphera is doing very well in the South American (LATAM) region.

“LATAM consumers are increasingly more aware of what they eat and drink. They demand healthy foods and understandable labels. The result is a real boom in ‘free-from’ dairy products that are low in sugar, fat and lactose.”

Different market

Leal Rocha also said there are some important differences in the LATAM dairy market when compared to Europe and the US.

“Here, UHT milk is the main low/zero lactose product consumed, which is different compared to the US and Europe where fresh milk [pasteurized] is the main product.

“In the case of Brazil, more than 60% of the milk consumed is UHT, reaching over 6bn liters in 2016, being one of the largest markets in the world. In this milk category, zero-lactose versions are growing 60% per year since 2014,” ​he said.

He added new legal requirements for “zero-lactose claim” were just set by ANVISA [the Brazilian National Sanitary Surveillance Agency], and dairies must now adjust their products/production process to achieve the new levels. From now on, in order to use the claim “0% lactose”, dairies must achieve 0.1% lactose.

Growth in Latin America

The wider Latin America region is the biggest low-lactose market in the world on volume.

According to market research company Euromonitor International, in 2016, the global market reached 2.7m tons of reduced lactose products sold; Latin America was responsible for approximately 29% of this total.

Euromonitor added that, in 2016, the global market reached $6.1bn of reduced lactose products sold, with Latin America accounting for around 21%.

The segment represents about 2% of total sales of dairy products in Latin America, and is growing around 11% per year. Product launches include not only milk but also yogurt, cheese and ice cream.

Leal Rocha said the dairy market in the region remains fragmented in spite of the distribution of dairy products being well-developed through different channels.

He said it is not consolidated, with small, medium and big dairies operating across the region. He said Brazil, for example, has more than 300 dairies – and the top 15 companies combined do not process more than 40% of the total milk.

Broadening dairy business

Lisbet Fogt Khan, head of dairy platform at Novozymes, told DairyReporter the company wants to broaden its dairy business sales, including the low-lactose markets.

She said Saphera has led to a lot of interesting discussions and dialog with dairies around the world, both existing customers and new players.

“The low-lactose market, fundamentally, is growing at a very nice rate, and when you add new innovation to that, then we see nice uptake of new technology. Normally it takes quite some to launch product in the food and beverage space, but it has gone quite well.”

Formea for infant formula

Outside of milk and fermented milk, the company has also launched a product in the infant formula space, Formea. 

“For many years we have had porcine trypsin, that has some disadvantages, we have come up with a product with the same properties, which can be fermented. That is doing very well, and this is for hypo-allergenic infant formula.”

Fogt Khan said the product is halal and vegetarian friendly.

She added that, as dairy is important to Novozymes, the company is looking into cultures for future development, saying it was a “hot area.”

Saphera available for range of products

Saphera is applicable for a broad range of dairy products including fresh, ESL and UHT milk, milk drinks, cream, ice cream and fermented dairy products.

Saphera is sold as a liquid standard product (Saphera 2600 L) for use in batch process and in-line dosing systems (e.g. TetraPak Aldose). It is sold as a sterile liquid product (Saphera 900 LS) for use in aseptic in-line dosing systems (e.g. TetraPak FlexDos).

Related topics: Functional Dairy, Ingredients

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