Arla Foods Ingredients, Denmark, has launched Nutrilac FastRipe, a natural milk protein that enables cheese producers to reduce ripening times and save money without any negative impact on quality or shelf life.

Ripening is a key stage in the production of continental and cheddar-type cheeses. The process typically takes from three weeks to more than a year, which means it can represent significant overhead in terms of storage. Nutrilac FastRipe enables companies to reduce their storage costs by accelerating the maturation process by anything from one to six weeks, depending on cheese variety, according to the company.

It is made with the company’s CH-4560 natural whey protein, which is extracted from cows’ milk. It is supplied as a fully soluble powder that may be dispersed and blended in cheese-milk or water — meaning there is no need to change the overall manufacturing process.

Once added, it accelerates the mechanism in cheese that causes it to ripen. Unlike other ripening agents — such as cultures and enzymes — it does not break down proteins excessively, which means shelf life is not shortened and taste is not impaired. It is suitable for use in a range of natural cheeses, including Gouda, Edam, Manchego, cheddar and Port Salut.

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