Fonterra launches Grade A functional whey protein concentrate to exploit niche in cultured products

US – NZMP, Fonterra’s brand of dairy ingredients and solutions, has partnered with Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCAA) and Three Mile Canyon Farms to launch Pro-OptimaTM, a Grade A functional Whey Protein Concentrate (fWPC), to the US market.

The joint venture (JV) formed by the three companies, called Columbia River Technologies (CRT), brings together Fonterra’s dairy expertise with domestic US milk supply to expand the offering of ingredients for cultured applications in the market.

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The dairy ingredient company noted the launch come after it had identified a niche in the growing space for US dairy for cultured products.

Fonterra’s global ingredient business claimed Pro-Optima fWPC is the first Grade A whey protein that enables ‘unrivaled protein enhancement’ in cultured products.

It is especially effective in yogurt applications, unlocking a range of textures, and suitable for a variety of applications in cultured products ranging from spoonable yogurt to drinking yogurt, mousses, or nutritional yogurt bars.

The whey protein concentrate can be used together with many of the brand’s other health and wellness ingredients to deliver ‘multi-functional benefits across many food and drink offerings’, NZMP added.

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Fonterra said manufacturers are looking for ways to push the limits of the category to meet the growing demand for high-protein food and beverages.

The company added that according to Mintel, 96% of US consumers say they will maintain or increase their yogurt consumption over the next 12 months.

Fonterra’s long-standing history of producing dairy proteins and expertise in formulating proteins for cultured products allows for brands to meet several innovation opportunities in the cultured dairy space, the company stressed.

Megan Patterson, Americas marketing communication manager at Fonterra said: “Brands rely on us to supply both the functional ingredients and formulation expertise they need to develop compelling new products that address current and future consumer needs.”

Patterson noted that Pro-Optima Grade A fWPC is a first to market functional whey protein concentrate made with US milk to fuel cultured product innovation.

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He also stated that the Pro-Optima enables new product formats and adds more nutritional value to existing formats to meet the needs of increasingly health-conscious consumers.

The new product from the JV follows the strategic innovation priorities Fonterra outlined in May that would focus on nutritional benefits such as ‘cognition, sight, and stress.

CEP Miles Hurrell highlighted that it targets the gut health market, pointing out its recent Singapore launch of Nature, a cultured milk beverage fortified with added vitamins and Fonterra’s probiotics as an example of the efforts the company is making to achieve its ambitions.

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