The patented method, called milk fractionation, was developed by AFI, a supplier of specialized milk and whey ingredients, and a subsidiary of the European dairy cooperative Arla Foods.
AFI said next-generation dairy products are now made possible through the selection of specific pure milk proteins, for example, casein and serum whey proteins.
It said the development of specialized nutrient-specific foods opens up new opportunities for infant formula, sports products, nutrition for the elderly and those with medical nutrition needs.
The separation of milk’s different proteins from whey previously relied on cheese-making as whey is a by-product of this process. By circumventing the cheese-making entirely, AFI’s new milk-fractionation technology not only allows for a bigger potential raw-material pool, but also it creates protein streams in a fully-controlled process with reduced processing steps and a more gentle processing of the milk.
Henrik Andersen, CEO of Arla Foods Ingredients, said, “The method has been several years in development and I’m delighted to see what was once a vision become a commercial reality with the power to completely revolutionize targeted nutrition for vulnerable groups. As science-based innovators we are driven to invent and reinvent our processes to ensure we have the best possible products available and continue to lead the way in whey.”
The milk fractionation process is being pioneered for infant formula at AFI’s dairy in Videbaek, Denmark to fulfill a growing demand for organic infant formula, a market estimated to increase by 14.1% in the next two years, according to Marketreportsworld.com.
“Traditional cheese making demands significant quantities of organic milk to produce the volumes of whey we require to meet demand and now we’re not reliant on this we can significantly increase production and, at the same time, offer parents and guardians greater clarity of the provenance of the organic infant milk formula because just a few Arla farms supply the milk to our factory in Videbaek,” Andersen said.
Arla Foods Ingredients is currently using the new technology to manufacture the organic Baby&Me brand for Arla Foods and AFI expects to launch its first organic private label infant formula solutions based on the technology during 2022.