Fonterra JV launches whey ingredient to support innovation in US cultured dairy

By Katy Askew contact

- Last updated on GMT

Functional Whey Protein Concentrate unlocks new textures in cultured dairy, Fonterra says / Pic: GettyImages-jenifoto
Functional Whey Protein Concentrate unlocks new textures in cultured dairy, Fonterra says / Pic: GettyImages-jenifoto

Related tags: Fonterra, functional whey protein concentrate

NZMP, Fonterra’s global ingredient business, has entered into a joint venture with Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCAA) and Three Mile Canyon Farms in the US to launch Pro-OptimaTM, a Grade A functional Whey Protein Concentrate (fWPC), to the market.

The JV, called Columbia River Technologies (CRT), brings together Fonterra’s dairy expertise with domestic US milk supply to expand the offering of ingredients for cultured applications in the market. 

Innovation opportunity in cultured dairy

"As one of the world's leading dairy co-operatives, brands rely on us to supply both the functional ingredients and formulation expertise they need to develop compelling new products that address current and future consumer needs,"​ said Megan Patterson, Americas marketing communication manager at Fonterra.

Fonterra pointed to what it has identified as a growth space for US dairy: cultured products. For instance, according to Mintel, 96% of US consumers say they will maintain or increase their yogurt consumption over the next 12 months. Fonterra said manufacturers are looking for ways to ‘push the limits’ of the category to meet growing demand for high protein food and beverages.

“Fonterra's long-standing history of producing dairy proteins and expertise in formulating proteins for cultured products allows for brands to meet several innovation opportunities in the cultured dairy space,”​ the company stressed.

A ‘first to market’ ingredient for ‘unrivalled’ protein enhancement

NZMP's Pro-Optima fWPC is the first Grade A whey protein that enables ‘unrivalled protein enhancement’ in cultured products, the company claimed.

It is especially effective in yogurt applications, unlocking a range of textures. But NZMP added it is suitable for a variety of applications in cultured products – from spoonable yogurt, to drinking yogurt, mousses or nutritional yogurt bars. The whey protein concentrate is also compatible with many of the brand's other health and wellness ingredients to deliver ‘multi-functional benefits across many food and drink offerings’, the company noted.

"Our Pro-Optima Grade A fWPC is a first to market functional whey protein concentrate made with US milk to fuel cultured product innovation. Pro-Optima enables new product formats and adds more nutritional value to existing formats to meet the needs of increasingly health conscious consumers,​” Patterson said.

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