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Proliant pioneers lower cost whey and lactose alternative

By Ben Bouckley , 04-Nov-2011

US firm Proliant Dairy claims to have developed a new dairy ingredient that can successfully replace expensive whey powder, lactose and skimmed milk powder in a variety of food systems.

Proliant described Versilac as a “natural, highly dispersible and soluble” dairy ingredient, which (via in-house trials) had been used to replace up to 100 per cent of whey powder, lactose and non-fat dry milk.

10-25 per cent reductions in sugar, cocoa, butter and salt use in bakery, confectionery, savoury and beverage applications had also been achieved, the company said.

As a whey replacer, Proliant cited example application areas for VersiLac within biscuits, brownies, cheese sauce, chocolate sweets, ice cream, pie and pizza crusts, tomato soup and cocoa.

The company said it could also be used as a lactose replacer in, for instance, biscuits, chocolate sweets, potato chips, dips, dressings and tomato soup.

Proliant is targeting US, European, Asian, Middle Eastern and Central and Southern American market penetration for Versilac.

Insatiable infant food demand

And with the high cost of corn and corn-based ingredients in mind, Proliant said that VersiLac also showed promise as a dextrose, maltodextrin or corn syrup solids replacer.

With whey powder and lactose prices near all-time highs, Proliant said this trend could continue, with production shifting towards high-protein whey products, while demand for infant formula and milk powder producers remained “insatiable”.

“While this is not the first time dairy prices have risen so quickly, unlike the last run-up in 2007, when food formulators could reformulate with less costly corn and corn-based alternatives, corn prices today are also significantly higher than average,” the company said.

Sales manager, Linda Myhr, said: “While global demand for high-quality food grade whey continues to increase, production capacity continues to restrict as processors shift from whey solids to high protein production.”

And while higher protein production meant more lactose, Myhr said, “Demand from international infant formula and pharmaceutical companies – as well as for milk powder standardisation – will continue to press supplies available to food manufacturers”.

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