Issue 34

Novel permeate makes great-tasting chocolate

Free-flowing Variolac® 850 is the new, low-cost milk solid for confectionery

Chocolate manufacturers are being introduced to a new alternative to milk solids in South America. Free-flowing permeate from Arla Foods Ingredients is high in sensory quality and low in cost – and the first manufacturers to try it like what they see. Variolac® 850 is a brand new sweet bulking agent on the South American market, produced at Arla Foods Ingredients’ joint venture plant in Argentina. 

Easy, cost-saving replacement
Unlike other whey-derived permeate products, which are characterised by a strong mineral-like taste, the use of special ultra-filtration techniques ensures Variolac® 850 a sweet, dairy profile. This makes it ideal for direct one-to-one replacement of other, more expensive bulking agents used in chocolate, such as pure lactose, demineralised whey and whey powder.

“A number of local and multinational confectionery manufacturers are already running industrial trials with positive results. They like the fact that they can replace, for example, demineralised whey with no changes to the production process and at lower cost,” says Renata Soliva Costa, application manager.

Flavour and mouthfeel benefits
In addition to its pleasant flavour, Variolac® 850 acts as a flavour enhancer for other flavourings, such as chocolate and vanilla, and provides mouthfeel due to its content of calcium. Its ability to bind volatile flavour components also reduces flavour loss during confectionery processing and storage. 

Another major advantage is the free-flowing powder quality – a characteristic that adds to the overall premium feel of this cost-competitive ingredient.Once the confectionery industry has heard about Variolac® 850, Costa predicts rapid growth in demand.“I believe our permeate will become considered a very valuable source of milk solids,” she says. “It provides manufacturers with exactly what they need.”

Global availability in 2012
Arla Foods Ingredients currently has the capacity to produce 20,000 tonnes of Variolac® 850 a year at the plant in Argentina. During 2012, production start-up in Norway will increase annual capacity to 45,000 tonnes, making Variolac® 850 available to customers globally. The Norwegian production is in collaboration with the dairy cooperative TINE.