Bowl of yogurt
Developing ingredient solution that utilize the byproducts generated from cheese processing is a goal of ingredient suppliers.

Ingredient innovation keeping pace

As the market for cheese continues to grow, ingredient manufacturers are working to improve the process on the front end and back end. Ingredion Inc., for example, launched PRECISA 680 starch earlier this year, a solution that enables cheese manufacturers to save costs, maintain texture and improve performance without compromising whey streams, the Westchester, Ill.-based company said. The modified food starch is based on waxy maize and is non-G.M.O.

Adding PRECISA 680 starch to milk at the onset of the manufacturing process increases cheese yield by 8% to 10%, according to the company. The starch provides increased yield in cheese products, Greek-style yogurts, quark and cream cheese-type products.

“Manufacturers using the traditional cheese making process (whey separation) continue to look for ways to make high quality products for less, without compromising the valuable whey stream or textures familiar to consumers,” said Luc Bertram, vice-president of global wholesome and texture springboards for Ingredion. “This innovative solution is easy to incorporate into the traditional cheese manufacturing process and does not require any capital investment ...”

While Ingredion’s ingredient solution focuses on the front end of the cheese-making process, a new ingredient from Hydrosol GmbH & Co., Ahrensburg, Germany, and sold in North America through SternMaid-America, provides options for the waste stream generated through cheese production. Through the Stabisol JOC stabilizer and texturing systems, rennet and acid whey may be made into new products, according to the company.

The ingredient system allows manufacturers to turn rennet into a range of products, including puddings, beverages, fermented desserts and sour cream. Acid whey may be used to make alternatives to yogurt.

“Acid whey is a special challenge for cheese producers, because processing it is technologically much more demanding than for rennet whey,” said Dorotea Pein, innovation manager for Hydrosol. “After intensive research and many application tests, we have succeeded in developing an ingredient complex that makes it possible to market acid whey profitably.”

The end products feature appealing mouthfeel and a creamy texture, according to the company. The whey alternatives may be mixed with various ingredients, including flavorings and colors added at the beginning of the manufacturing process or fruit preparations added before filling.

“The fat content of the products can be adjusted either with normal milk fat in the form of cream, or with vegetable fat,” Ms. Pein said. “The desired viscosity can be achieved using our highly functional stabilizer and texturing systems.”