The construction at DuPont Nutrition & Health (Danisco Deutschland), part of a joint project with DuPont Epernon, in France, will be completed in Q4 2018 and the warehouse is expected to run at -55°C.
European cultures plants
"The term fresh fermented dairy includes yogurt, sour cream, quark, cream cheese, buttermilk, twarog, kefir, maas, dahi, laban, ryazenkha, greek yogurt, ayran, lassi and many more applications," said Sonia Huppert, global regional product management leader, DuPont Nutrition & Health.
"We are seeing more discerning consumers in general, increasingly focusing on healthier living, turning to naturally functional, sustainable and more personalized nutrition, in which dairy is a value creator.
"In addition, there is a profound consumer shift to plant-based foods, fuelled by a current buzz on social media among young consumers about fermented products. These consumers are increasingly opting for lactose- and gluten-free products based on plant ingredients."
Reinhold Sand, site manager, Danisco Deutschland, said the investment of around €7m ($8.6m) forms part of the previously announced $60m expansion plan for European cultures plants.
The announcement follows a US expansion plan for its probiotics facilities in the US in 2016.
“These initiatives for European cultures plants will further increase our ability to serve the growing global dairy market,” said Matthias Heinzel, president, DuPont Nutrition & Health, at the time.
“This additional capacity in cultures ensures we maintain our reputation for excellent stability and performance by customers around the world. Our investment will enable us to support their growth and geographic expansion.”
The European investments includes three DuPont Nutrition & Health plants in total; Sassenage and Epernon, in France, and Niebüll, Germany.
The Sassenage plant started its expansion phase last year to increase its fermentation capacity, biomass separation and freeze-drying capacity.
At Niebüll, some investment has already been made in a pelletizer and now the ultra-cold warehouse to increase supply of frozen cultures. In Epernon, the plan is to leverage the existing fermentation capacity by investing in a fermenter.
Higher consumption of fresh dairy products
“The global dairy industry is expected to grow in the next five years driven by the higher consumption of fresh dairy products especially in Asia, as well as by the increased demand for cheese and cheese products for the food service industry,” said John Rea, cultures and food protection leader, DuPont Nutrition & Health probiotics.
The Niebüll cold storage cell will be equipped with an energy efficient insulating panel to reduce energy use as well as a heat recovery system, which will be integrated into the refrigeration technology.
The storage facility will have ports with different temperature zones as well as a semi-automated transport system to load and unload a freight elevator, for material transport from the ground to the upper floor.
A two-story building with 300 square meters of floor space at each level will be built in front of the deep-freeze warehouse to house logistics, building technology, office work places, switch rooms and social rooms for employees.