White cheese is the fastest growing global cheese category, experiencing on average 5 percent annual growth in both emerging and developed economies, according to Chr. Hansen. Customers seek new taste experiences and expect convenient formats, such as sliced, cubed and crumbled white cheese, for use at home or in the foodservice industry. To keep up with intense global competition, white cheese producers need to improve both product quality and production efficiency continually.
“Cheesemakers are challenged to create appealing cheese while staying competitive,” says Jens Skytte Soerensen, Commercial Development Manager for white cheese at Chr. Hansen. “They want to increase their efficiency and yield. With DVS WHITE FLORA, you secure high-quality white cheese that tastes delicious. At the same time, you enjoy new flexibility as the culture can be used with both regular milk and milk concentrated by ultra-filtration.”
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Soerensen says: “White cheese is growing due to a number of reasons. First of all, we have mapped that close to 80 percent of the global volume of white cheese is manufactured in emerging economies. Here, and in countries with strong traditions for white cheese, the growth driven by population growth, urbanization and increased investments and industrialization. In more mature economies, consumers are consuming a wider mix of cheese categories. This is reflecting demand for cheese for new taste experiences, healthy salads, hot cooking (e.g., on pizza) and also as an alternative to meat. White cheese is from a culinary point view fitting very well into these trends.”
“The cheese industry is often regarded as a very conservative and mature segment. We see the market as very dynamic and with lots of opportunities. When I go the supermarket in many countries, I notice the greater availability of more types of cheese, different degrees of ripening, new sizes and formats, more transparency and stories behind the products. This is also an increase in complexity for everyone involved in the supply chain. Our response to this will be increasing sophistication. This is why we have a broad range of cultures and enzymes to match more and more specific needs.”
The first stage in cheese making is to ferment milk sugar into lactic acid using a starter culture. This is where cheesemakers can benefit from DVS WHITE FLORA, and create complex flavors and delicious taste-development during fermentation. The strains used in the new culture system are carefully characterized and selected from 30,000 strains to ensure consistent performance. The three robust cultures systems within the DVS WHITE FLORA series achieve the same highly controlled acidification and have the same tolerance to salt and temperature.
New quality and brand claims for white cheese products DVS WHITE FLORA is part of a wide range of cultures and enzymes from Chr. Hansen that helps cheesemakers to secure product differentiation. All cultures within the range offer different flavor notes, nuances in texture and are developed specifically for white cheese.
“Whether you want to achieve more buttery, yogurt-like or slightly acidic notes, or seek to alter the mouthfeel of your white cheese, the choice of cultures and enzymes can help,” notes Soerensen. “Chr. Hansen has helped cheesemakers to reach new levels of craftsmanship since 1874. Now white cheesemakers can benefit from our range of effective starter culture systems, each offering different and specific benefits.”
“As a company, we are spending more than 7 percent of our net sales value on R&D activities. We are constantly managing an innovation pipeline covering all the segments we are focusing on. The dairy segment and the cheese segment is a core market to Chr. Hansen. That has been true in the past more than 140 years, is true today and when we look ahead for a long time. Therefore, we will be doing a lot of incremental innovation and from time to time also more radical innovation as we move ahead in this space,” he concludes.
By Elizabeth Green
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