Dairy Dialog podcast 63: Walki, Epi Ingredients, Symrise

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog podcast 63: Walki, Epi Ingredients, Symrise
Dairy Dialog podcast 63: Walki, Epi Ingredients, Symrise

Related tags recyclable packaging Arla foods Symrise

This week on DairyReporter’s weekly podcast, we have three guests.

We chatted with Heikki Lumme, business line manager flexible packaging at Walki, about the company’s aluminum-free lids that are being used by Arla in Finland, Carol McBride, category director for sweets at Symrise, on the company’s expansion; and to Mathieu Lucot, marketing manager at Epi Ingredients, about the company’s launches at FiE in Paris recently.

We also have our weekly update on the global dairy markets with Charlie Hyland from INTL FCStone.

Walki Lid helps Arla go greener with aluminum-free lids

Fiber-based Walki Lid, created by Finnish company Walki Group, is helping Arla reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging with aluminum-free lids.

With the demand for sustainable solutions increasing, Walki said dairy companies are looking to find alternatives to lids traditionally made of aluminum.

The company said many customers, including Arla, want the entire package to be recyclable, not just the cup. Walki Lid matches the ability of aluminum lids on heat resistance, is a material that works with existing packaging processes, meets food safety standards and can be printed on.

Walki Lid, Walki’s paper-based material for single-cup lids, is being used in Finland for Arla’s 175g Arla Luonto+ yogurts, and in Sweden for cottage cheese and crème fraiche as well. The entire packaging can be recycled by pulping or burned for energy production.

Kati Janhunen, brand & category manager at Arla, said the aim is to make Arla Luonto+ the healthiest, tastiest and most socially responsible yogurt brand in Finland.

“We’re a very consumer-oriented company and we listen to consumers extremely carefully. The consumers that choose Arla Luonto+ deem sustainability very important.”

Janhunen said Arla is always looking for ways to create sustainable consumer choices through continuous R&D with sustainability at its core.

“As the packaging industry is constantly evolving, it’s our responsibility to offer consumers the best possible solution,”​ Janhunen said.


The lids are manufactured by Pyroll, a paper, converting and packaging company from Finland, using material provided by Walki. Sales director Marko Manu said the lid has an excellent aroma, water vapor and gas barrier, is easy to peel yet still durable to avoid tearing, and also fully recyclable.

Manu said, “There are plenty of technicalities that need to be taken into account both on our end as well as our customer’s, without forgetting the fact that the most important job for the packaging is to protect the product inside it and ensure a certain shelf life.

“It’s a common challenge for us packaging manufacturers and our customers to come up with new and innovative solutions to boost the presence of recyclable alternatives and find ways to make them both economical and technically efficient.”

When it comes to carbon footprint, Walki Lid beats aluminum, according to flexible packaging business Line manager Heikki Lumme, making the product suitable for companies committed to reducing their emissions throughout the supply chain.

Epi Ingredients launching revolutionary patented ingredients at FIE

French dairy ingredients company, Epi Ingredients, worked on several innovative solutions at FiE in Paris recently.

Mathieu Lucot, marketing manager at Epi Ingredients, said, “With fermented foods as one of 2019’s top trends, we focused a lot of our efforts this year on expanding our offerings of fermented ingredients. However, we know that nutrition and healthy options are also an essential aspect of consumers’ purchasing decisions; which is why we worked hard on developing a new nutrition-oriented concept specifically designed as a satisfying tasty alternative that also addresses the nutritional aspect​.”

After successfully launching new product concepts SoFlexi and SoBenefik in the past two years, the company showcased an extruded crispy ingredient and third concept of the range SoUnik. The patented ingredient, known as SoCrispies, was co-developed with a company specializing in the extrusion process.

SoCrispies comes in two varieties and is a crunchy inclusion or topping for an array of finished products:

- the first variety contains 100% dairy proteins and was created as a new and nutritious way to incorporate protein into applications such as chocolate bars, nutrition bars or frozen desserts and ice cream.

- the other variety features the company’s yogurt powder and was designed as a yogurt-flavored add-in, bringing crunchiness and a distinctive yogurt-flavor to a wide range of food applications.

Lucot said Epi Ingredients has been working on expanding its offerings in fermented ingredients, and, beyond the yogurt crisps, Food Ingredients Europe was also the venue for the company to unveil its ‘ethnic’ fermented powders, the newest addition to the EPILAC range.

Epi Ingredients was able to create new flavor profiles by playing with different cultures and fine-tuning their process. Some of the new ingredients developed include a skyr powder, a kefir powder, and, to stay true to the company’s roots anchored in Brittany, a ‘lait Ribot’ powder.

All of these new fermentation-based additions are both Kosher and Halal certified.

Additional capabilities for Symrise after expansion

Flavor and ingredients producer Symrise is expanding its North American presence.

At its existing facility in New Jersey, it will now have additional extraction capabilities for botanicals and vanilla. The extractions can be used in yogurts, ice creams, desserts, bakery, confectionery, protein shakes and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Carol McBride, category director for sweets, told DairyReporter that this will help with speed, an expansion of capacity and a fit for purpose design. The natural extracts will shorten their customers’ lead times and create a more efficient supply chain.

“Vanilla is one of the most important ingredients in the world. It is relevant in confectionery, dairy and bakery products. This is the third location in the world that Symrise has for manufacturing vanilla extracts, using beans sourced from Madagascar and India.

“The new enrichment technology allows us to capture the volatiles in the concentration process, and add them back into the extract, making this a real differentiator for us in the marketplace,”​ she said.

Larry Garro, VP of Operations at Symrise, said, “There is an increased demand for natural ingredients and transparency in the food and beverage marketplace, so Symrise has expanded the footprint of our natural capabilities in North America by manufacturing botanical and vanilla extracts and distillations here in New Jersey. These locally produced raw materials will go into the natural flavors that are part of our Code of Nature naturalness platform.”

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