Dairy Dialog podcast 117: Quantec, Kerry, Chobani

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy Dialog podcast 117: Quantec, Kerry, Chobani. Pics: Kerry, Chobani, Getty Images/inkoly
Dairy Dialog podcast 117: Quantec, Kerry, Chobani. Pics: Kerry, Chobani, Getty Images/inkoly

Related tags: Chobani, Greek yogurt, Kerry, Trends

This week, we have conversations with Quantec founder Dr Rod Claycomb and CEO Raewyn McPhillips; Christina Matrozou, marketing manager for taste in Europe and Russia at Kerry, and Chobani chief corporate affairs officer, Cristina Alesci.

We also see the return of our weekly look at the global dairy markets with Liam Fenton at StoneX.

Study finds milk-derived ingredient effective against influenza virus

Research commissioned by New Zealand company Quantec, and completed by an independent US laboratory, has found its patented milk-derived ingredient IDP (Immune Defense Proteins) is effective against influenza virus species.

At a time when there is an intense global focus on viruses, Quantec commissioned the independent in vitro study to see if IDP had antiviral activity, and if so whether its formulation, which contains over 50 bioactive proteins, provides greater antiviral activity than a singular protein.

The antiviral activity of IDP was tested against two viral species, influenza A H1N1/Puerto Rico/8/34 and herpes simplex HSV-1 MacIntyre, and compared against purified (95%) lactoferrin. Lactoferrin has been shown in studies to have antiviral activity.

Influenza A is a virus commonly implicated with flu, and herpes simplex is implicated in the causation of cold sores.

The testing found that the antiviral activity of IDP was 120% more effective against Influenza A than lactoferrin, and similar in terms of its efficacy against the herpes simplex virus.

In the testing, IDP achieved IC50 based on 9.7mg/ml compared to lactoferrin’s 21.8mg/ml, making IDP twice as powerful.

Founder of Quantec, Dr Rod Claycomb, said the results suggest IDP could play an important role in protecting cells from influenza or herpes infections.

 “These are exciting results for IDP and they support our ongoing development of new products, based on the benefits provided by the powerful synergy in the IDP complex.

“Nature created the bioactive proteins in milk to work together with the body’s microbiome to support the immune system. We continue to extend our knowledge of the benefits of the IDP protein complex and its application to support immune health.”

Established in 2009, Quantec has developed, manufactured and commercialized IDP, which contains more than 50 bioactive proteins found naturally in milk to protect the cow from infection and inflammation.

Quantec patented the discovery that the IDP suite of proteins has significantly higher bioactivity than singular milk proteins, such as lactoferrin. The compound has already been proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-microbial properties.

Quantec chief executive Raewyn McPhillips said these properties make IDP particularly effective as an active ingredient for functional skincare and dietary supplements, due to its ability to work topically on the skin, oral and gut surfaces.

“At Quantec we produce and market supplement ranges that feature IDP such as Milkamune, suitable for adults and children, and the skincare range Epiology which uses IDP to prevent the spread of acne-causing bacteria.  IDP is also used as a key ingredient for food and beverage products in the form of powder sachets, protein beverages and chewable tablets that are currently sold in China and other Asian markets.

“A key part of our approach to grow Quantec is to work with strategic partners in key markets; our 20-year agreement with China-based Holon, a significant player in the Chinese supplement market with their brand Laitap, is an example of this.”

Following this research project, Quantec said it will progress further studies aimed at translating these in vitro results into clinical results.

Kerry publishes 2021 Taste Charts predictions

Kerry, the taste and nutrition company, has released its annual Taste Charts for 2021, uncovering flavors and ingredients it believes are set to inspire innovation and taste excellence across the food and beverage landscape.

A trend towards familiar and nostalgic tastes, which resurged during the pandemic, is anticipated to continue over the coming year as people seek comfort from their food and beverages. Consumers are gravitating toward comforting and familiar tastes, with classic desserts such as banana split, apple pie and custard are featured as flavors in different categories – including those in the “sweet” and “beverage” categories.

Europe and Russia trends

In Europe, restrictions on movement in 2020 have led to consumers traveling with their taste buds, the company said. This is reflected in the Taste Charts, with a rise in Korean, Indian, Thai, Greek and Spanish cuisine, as well as exotic notes like calamansi and acerola. Trends around health and wellbeing continue, while sustainable sourcing is also growing in importance.

 “2020 has been a year like no other. During the lockdown period, consumers stayed connected online and continued to share the food that excited them, augmenting the need for playful textures and exciting flavors,”​ said Christina Matrozou, marketing manager for taste in Europe and Russia.

 “Fermentation emerged across several product categories, with vinegar and pickled becoming a top trend and flavor note. The traditional citrus, vanilla, chocolate and BBQ flavors will remain relevant in 2021, but consumers expect these tastes through flavors that are more sustainable or have provenance claims. Meanwhile, botanicals such as lavender, turmeric and basil can meet consumer needs across food and beverage products that support the quest for holistic wellbeing.”

She added masala and miso are of strong interest in the savory category while Texas BBQ is popular for snacks. Exotic citrus tastes, such as yuzu and calamansi, have an excellent chance to an absolute hit in the sweet and beverage categories.

“Comforting flavors will continue to be strong in Europe as consumers are seeking indulgence in their favorite foods and beverages. Dessert-inspired flavours are emerging in the beverage category and alcohol notes, such as gin and whiskey, are rising in the sweet category,”​ Matrozou said.

“Mainstream tastes were important for European consumers in 2020 and they will continue to resonate in 2021 as people continue to seek the old-time classics we all know and love. Time-honored flavors such as chocolate and vanilla are popular in sweet and beverage category, as are mushroom and tomato in savory.

“These days, it is a question of how to deliver flavors in the most natural formulation possible while also taking care to sustainably manage the natural sources that form the basis of these tastes and flavors. It is vital to ensure that the natural sources can be replenished, and sustainability is a key priority for the Kerry taste program. Kerry’s sustainability program offers a wide range of many intriguing possibilities covering different profiles. Some exciting examples in the citrus tonality area include Citrus de Menton and Iranian Black Lemon. There are many other interesting possibilities to be found in the Kerry SimplyNature Citrus Collection for Europe & Russia,”​ she said.

The Taste Charts utilizes consumer purchase patterns, retail product performance, foodservice influences, and endorsements from the company’s internal culinary, beverage, and mixology experts to predict tastes for the coming year.

Kerry’s Trendspotter, a proprietary artificial intelligence that predicts food trends from global social media content, was used to provide additional perspective, inspiration, and validation of flavors and ingredients influencing the marketplace.

 “The Taste Charts supports manufacturers by providing an expert overview of key, mainstream, up-and-coming and emerging flavors and ingredients across categories. This helps accelerate new product development times by making it easier to select flavors during the brainstorm and development phase. Kerry’s customers can harness these trends in a really exciting way, with plenty of room to innovate and create products that will resonate with consumers,”​ Matrozou said.

Matrozou said the pandemic has certainly affected consumer tastes and interests.

“The pandemic accelerated consumer trends as it created a feeling of urgency. An urgency to look after holistic wellness and the environment. At the same time, in an attempt to cope with the stress of the pandemic, consumers have been and are continuing to seek ways to comfort and indulge themselves while they cope,”​ she said.

As to whether these are changes that will continue after the end of the pandemic – whenever that may be – she said the changes arising from the pandemic may well be permanent.

“However, the level of urgency will settle down. The trending approach towards a sustainable future and sustainable nutrition is here to stay as consumers continue to demonstrate an increased interest in the inherent wellness benefits of products incorporating simple and recognizable natural, organic, non-GMO, and free-from ingredients.”

CNN correspondent Cristina Alesci joins Chobani

Chobani has announced veteran CNN and Bloomberg Television correspondent Cristina Alesci has been appointed as its chief corporate affairs officer (CCAO).

Alesci, who started in the role on December 28, will report to Chobani president and COO Peter McGuinness in her new role, which is to lead external and internal communications, government and community relations, social impact and philanthropy. Alesci will also join Chobani's executive leadership team.

McGuinness said, "It's important for our brand to authentically tell and share the stories that shape our values, beliefs and business. Cristina brings over a decade of storytelling for CNN and Bloomberg TV to Chobani, highlighting our continued growth and innovation while challenging businesses and society to think and act differently, always putting humanity first."

Chobani created the CCAO role for Alesci as Chobani ends 2020 with double-digit growth across its oat milk, creamers, functional wellness drinks and yogurt businesses in grocery outlets and online.

Throughout the year, the company has launched products in four new categories, adding an oat milk platform, plant based and dairy creamers, and oat-based functional probiotic drinks, while investing in communities and donating more than 7m products to food banks coast-to-coast.

Chobani has also supported its workforce throughout the challenges of the global pandemic, providing benefits to its essential workers like quarterly bonuses and daily childcare stipends, while keeping plants in New York and Idaho operating uninterrupted, 24/7. In October, Chobani announced a commitment to a starting wage of $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage. This investment brings the average wage for Chobani's essential workers to $19 an hour.

Alesci joins Chobani from CNN, where she was a business and political correspondent since 2014. Alesci has appeared regularly on Anderson Cooper 360, The Lead with Jake Tapper, The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett's Out Front and Newsroom.

"As the daughter of two immigrant parents who sacrificed dearly to give their children a better life, I have a special place in my heart for those who use their platform and success to make the promise of America brighter than it was yesterday,"​ said Alesci.

"Chobani is that kind of modern company — and that's why I'm joining. I'm looking forward to helping Hamdi, Peter and Chobani's incredibly passionate team continue to grow and build the next generation food company, one that makes food nutritious, delicious and affordable for all, while helping change the world."

Prior to her work at CNN, Alesci worked as a print and on-air reporter for five years at Bloomberg Television, covering the aftermath of the financial crisis. Alesci received a M.A. in Journalism with honors from The City University of New York's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, a B.S. in Criminal Justice magna cum laude from Pace University, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in business from Columbia University.

Alesci is a director and treasurer of the board of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and volunteers as an advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, hosting many of its major fundraising events and raising awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.

Recently Chobani also announced veteran finance executive Jody Macedonio would join the company to serve as chief financial officer, an appointment that was also effective from December 28. Like Alesci, Macedonio will report to McGuinness and be a member of Chobani's executive leadership team.

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