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Novozymes develops online calculator to help dairies develop products with less sugar
Amid consumer demand for healthier and free-from food products and sugar taxes that challenge dairy companies to trim their formulations, Danish-headquartered enzyme producer Novozymes has developed a new online tool for the industry.
Dr Craig Sherwin, technical service manager at Novozymes, said, “Dairies are under increased pressure to find innovative ways of reducing the sugar in their products. Of course, that’s a task easier said than done. That’s why we created a new online calculator to estimate the potential to reduce added sugar in dairy products when using lactase.”
With diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes on the rise, healthier eating is a topic on the minds of consumers and public health authorities the world over. People want reduced calories in their dairy products, but they’re not eager to compromise on the tastes and texture.
Novozymes created Saphera, an enzyme solution that boosts sweetness and allows dairies to use less sugar in their formulations, as well as production of a wide range of lactose-free products, including milk and fermented dairy products such as yogurt.
Less sugar - but still sweet
For dairy producers, taking sweetness into account is especially important when reformulating products. Lactose, for instance, is not particularly sweet on its own. But, when broken down with the lactase Saphera into glucose and galactose, the resulting sugars become almost 50% sweeter. That means dairies can achieve the sweetness that consumers love – with less added sugar or sweetener.
“We know it can be a big step for dairies to change their formulations to use less sugar while keeping the same sweetness. But, with the right tools, it’s possible to meet this consumer demand. Using lactase as a foundation to a toolkit approach for reduced added sugar can strike the right balance,” Sherwin said.
“The calculator is a model, a first step for developers at dairies to predict how much sugar could be reduced and accelerate their benchtop work.”
The calculator asks users to input the known lactose content of the ingredients used in a yogurt or flavored milk formula and the sucrose content of their benchmark formula with ideal sweetness. The tool then reveals how much less sucrose you could use if Saphera is used to boost the sweetness instead. It is free of charge and can be accessed in any web browser https://dairylab.novozymes.com/calculator
International Cheese & Dairy Awards
The annual International Cheese & Dairy Awards, held in Nantwich, Cheshire, in the UK, is a festival of cheese. Half of the large tent is dedicated to hundreds of cheeses from around the world, while the remainder is dedicated to exhibitors related to the cheese industry – from cheese producers to ingredient suppliers, processing and packaging equipment, as well as a variety of other companies.
The awards – which have been in existence since the late 1890s – are given out in just under 100 categories. Those categories are equally varied, from international cheeses to best cheese for the travel industry, as well as for yogurt, milk, butter, cream and quark.
Big winners included Shropshire UK cheesemakers Belton Farm Ltd, which picked up a dozen awards, and there were also multiple wins for large dairy companies, including Saputo UK (formerly Dairy Crest) and FrieslandCampina.
The event forms a part of the large agricultural event, the Nantwich Show, which was cancelled for only the third time in its 122-year history, due to poor weather. Landslides and flooding led to rail cancellations and travel disruption in the region, causing the event to shut down without seeing any visitors. The under-cover cheese event, which is for trade visitors only on the first day and open to the public on the second day, however, survived the weather.
At the event, DairyReporter looked at food cutting company Treif, which has its HQ in Germany, and which makes slicing machines. They were showcasing their cheese slicing capabilities, and we spoke with the company’s area sales manager, Paul Edwards.
Also present was SI Food software, where the SI stands for Systems Integration. The company helps its customers run their perishable food businesses as efficiently as possible, whilst enabling them to fulfil their customer expectations. To learn a little bit about the company, and how they can help cheese and other dairy producers, we spoke with SI’s Cameron Peters, who is responsible for business development.
There were many cheese producers with booths at the event, and one that didn’t need to travel very far was local company Joseph Heler Ltd. One of their brands is the high protein, low fat cheese eatlean. DairyReporter talked to Helen Dobson about the company, and its new products.
We also looked at a new product, a spray called Freshcheck, which can confirm cleanliness simply by spraying it on a surface and looking for a colour change. If it stays purple, the surface is safe, however, if it changes colour there’s a contamination risk. We talked with the company’s CTO, John Simpson.