Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI) is targeting infant formula, sports nutrition and medical nutrition with its new patented milk fractionation technology that separates milk proteins from whey, bypassing the need to make cheese. The Denmark-based company says this move enables scientists, nutritionists and health professionals to create “next-generation” dairy products.
These products can be formulated by selecting specific pure milk proteins such as casein and serum whey proteins.
AFI is already using the new technology to manufacture the organic Baby&Me brand for Arla Foods and expects to launch its first organic private label infant formula solutions based on the technology during 2022.
“The [milk fractionation] method has been in development for several years, and it has the potential to revolutionize targeted nutrition for vulnerable groups completely,” says Henrik Andersen, CEO of AFI.
The milk fractionation process is being pioneered for infant formula at AFI dairy in Videbaek, Denmark, to fulfill a growing demand for organic infant formula, a market estimated to increase by 14.1% in the next two years, according to the company.
Ensuring ingredient traceability
AFI details that separating milk’s different proteins from whey previously relied on cheese-making as whey is a by-product of this process.
Andersen explains that traditional cheese-making requires significant quantities of organic milk to produce the volumes of whey required to meet demand.
However, AFI’s milk fractionation technology now bypasses the cheese-making process, allowing for a more significant potential raw material pool. Additionally, it creates protein streams in a fully controlled process with significantly reduced processing steps and much more gentle milk processing.
“Now we are not reliant on [significant quantities of organic milk] and can significantly increase production and at the same time offer parents and guardians clarity of the origin of the organic infant milk formula because just a few Arla farms supply the milk to our factory in Videbaek.”
The company adds that enabling the development of specialized nutrient-specific foods opens up new opportunities in infant formula and sports while catering to other vulnerable groups such as the elderly and people with medical nutrition needs.
Tracking Arla’s previous moves
AFI has been developing its whey and milk protein ingredients. Earlier this month, it opened a center in Denmark dedicated to developing its capabilities in dairy and whey ingredients. The center will produce dairy and whey ingredients for the sports and infant nutrition industry.
Additionally, AFI unveiled a line of organic Nutrilac milk proteins suitable for application in cheese and yogurt offerings.
Meanwhile, the company introduced WPH Lacprodan DI-3091, a whey protein hydrolysate ingredient that helps overcome taste issues in medical and nutritional supplements for patients with maldigestion or malabsorption.
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