Issue 41

Fresh milk delivers two new natural proteins

Arla Foods Ingredients turns to one of nature’s best raw materials to produce its latest high quality products

Two new products are soon to go into production at Arla Foods Ingredients, both derived from an alternative raw material – fresh skimmed milk instead of whey from cheese production. The production line will add serum protein concentrate (SPC) and micellar casein isolate (MCI) to the product range. Working with customers, Arla Foods Ingredients and parent company Arla Foods will explore how the new products can bring more value to the food industry.

Native proteins
The initiative is the latest step in a strategic project with Arla Foods, which will supply the skimmed milk for the production. Microfiltration of the milk will separate the large micellar casein molecules from the smaller whey proteins – producing the two product streams.“The sole use of membrane filtration means the proteins in MCI and SPC are still in their native state,” says R&D project manager Preben Kønigsfeldt. ”The technology also enables us to obtain whey proteins independent of cheese production.”

Already of interest
Research at Arla Foods Ingredients will investigate the possibilities to use SPC in mainstream foods and sports and infant nutrition. MCI is already of interest to manufacturers of clinical drinks due to its content of up to 90% protein, high level of milk calcium, low viscosity and heat stability – not to mention a natural milk taste. “As an alternative to casein, MCI is good for people with a very small appetite as the protein content of clinical beverages can be increased to 16%,” Kønigsfeldt states.

More power in a dose
Compared to the whey supplied by cheese dairies, SPC is free of the caseinoglycomacropeptide (CGMP) formed by casein when rennet is added to the cheese milk vat.  This gives it a higher content of functional whey proteins, with potential for a more powerful effect or improved efficiency at a lower dosage, for example, in dairy applications. “MCI and SPC are already available on the market, where MCI is mainly used to optimise cheese production,” says Kønigsfeldt. “Our goal is to produce the next generation of these ingredients for more specific functional and nutritional use.” The first volumes of SPC and MCI will be available in early 2014 for testing in customer applications.