About a year and a half ago, when Corbion – the acknowledged global leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives, emulsifiers and bakery blends – stepped back to revisit and refresh its corporate strategy, the company began thinking more expansively about its core competencies and how they might be leveraged in new ways.
A key feature of the going-forward strategy that came out of that exercise is the decision to dramatically expand its role in the dairy industry. Although the dairy space is hardly new territory for Corbion, offerings until now have been limited to acidification and fortification. Solutions in the Corbion portfolio today focus on enhancing the flavor and quality of low-pH dairy products while increasing efficiency (PURAC®); using natural flavors to produce superior reduced-sodium cheeses (PuraQ® Arome NA4); and fortifying yogurts and dairy drinks with high concentrations of bioavailable minerals while ensuring stability and an appealing mouthfeel (PURACAL®, GLUCONAL® and PURAMEX®).
Although the company's heritage has included the invention of lactylates, the commercialization of hydrated mono-glycerides and the development of award-winning Trancendim crystal modifiers, that strength – and Corbion's multi-purpose blending proficiency – have been focused primarily on the baking industry.
The company's overall reputation has been built on a long history and advanced capabilities in natural mechanisms and processes such as fermentation, acidification, preservation and emulsification. For more than a century, Corbion has used that expertise to take manufacturers in the bakery, meat, refrigerated foods, beverages, confectionery and other segments of the food industry to the next level in ensuring their products are safe, delicious and enjoyable when consumers get to experience them.
In the bakery industry, in particular, Corbion is known for its highly innovative, collaborative experts, who are willing to roll up their sleeves when their application knowledge and troubleshooting skills are needed on the production floor. To simplify and streamline implementation of multi-component ingredient solutions for bakers, the company has developed best-in-class blending capabilities.
A natural progression
Now Corbion is preparing to bring those assets and mindset, combined with the advantages of its global operations and R&D networks, to manufacturers in the dairy segment.
"We believe there's opportunity in the dairy industry for an ingredient partner with deep knowledge of emulsifiers and the ability to develop customized stabilizer systems, and who is ready to help customers apply all that to create wins in the market," says Jerry Powell, Senior Director Business Development-Dairy at Corbion.
Powell, who joined Corbion in the latter half of 2020, says construction of a new fully equipped dairy innovation lab at the company's North American headquarters in Lenexa, Kan. is nearing completion, and application technologists experienced in dairy are already onboard. A portfolio of solutions for the dairy market will be commercialized and ready to launch later this year.
While Corbion's expanded portfolio and increased focus on dairy are new, Powell says the initiative makes perfect sense, given the company's areas of specialization, dedication to customer support and overall purpose.
"Part of what went into the development of our Advance 2025 strategy was taking a fresh look at our ultimate purpose as a company, to 'preserve what matters,'" Powell says. "Corbion has always been known as a leader in preservation, but we've broadened the way we think about that term. Our customers want to preserve a lot of things … not only safety and freshness, but the quality and stability of their products, the resources their production depends on, the resilience of their business, and ultimately, the way consumers experience their products.
"These are all areas of strength for Corbion," Powell adds, "and we're looking forward to working with dairy companies to preserve what matters to them."