New cheese coloring solution offers value to cheddar and gouda producers

by Staff
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Hørsholm, Denmark-based Chr. Hansen recently announced a cheese coloring solution that allows producers of cheddar and gouda cheese to get more value from their whey while maintaining visual appearance of their cheese products.

Whey, a byproduct of cheese making, is the liquid remaining after milk has been coagulated and drained. Whey has several commercial uses, however, when producing cheese types such as cheddar and gouda the cheese makers add color — traditionally annatto color — that transfers to the whey, coloring it yellow. This is an issue because the food industry requires white whey for food products.

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The company’s new alternative to annatto is called WhiteWhey.

“By replacing annatto with the beta-carotene based WhiteWhey colors, cheese producers will experience an 85% to 95% reduction in color transfer to the whey,” said Thomas Christensen, industry product manager, in the company’s natural colors division. “The cheese will maintain the same delicious yellow to red shades as our new WhiteWhey offers a 1:1 color match compared to annatto-based solutions.”

The product also meets regulatory and commercial demand.

“Cheesemakers welcome the innovation because it facilitates better whey production but also because there is an international push from authorities as well as the food industry to phase out carry-over of food colorants in foods for infants and young children,” Mr. Christensen added. “New regulation in the E.U. and China outlaws annatto residues in whey used for infant nutrition products. Using beta-carotene instead of annatto will comply with regulations as beta-carotene occurs naturally in milk.”

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