IRELAND – Kerry Group, an international leader in taste & nutrition innovation, has signed a partnership to support the creation of more sustainable dairy alternative products in Asia Pacific.

The partnership which is with Unigrain, an Australian producer of plant-based food and beverage ingredients will also enhance market growth for the plant-based category in the region.

It is also designed to provide food and beverage brands and manufacturers access to a unique combination of ingredients, R&D and processing solutions that will help them craft oat milk and other applications using Australian-grown oats.

“We are excited to be collaborating with Unigrain. As our current supplier of oat flour, Unigrain is now our partner to drive an ambitious plant-based growth plan in keeping with Asia Pacific’s fast-growing dairy alternative industry,” Christine Giuliano, Managing Director, Kerry Australia & New Zealand, said.

“Combining our end-to-end capabilities with Unigrain’s unique oat expertise and production infrastructure, we are excited to be the force for change in the next phase of growth in the dairy alternative space.”

In addition, the company highlighted that the partnership is a step towards the creation of a dairy alternative expertise ecosystem, where other ingredients and processing partners are invited to be part of the collective to accelerate the move towards sustainable nutrition solutions.

Kerry and Unigrain will also co-create a range of applications for its customers across the Asia Pacific as Kerry support on technology development, applications and enzymes, flavours, maskers and nutrition.

“We are proud to be partnering with Kerry to help drive awareness, thought leadership and category growth in the dairy alternative sector,” Fiona May, co-CEO of Unigrain, said

“In the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa region, oat milk has overtaken almond as the #2 dairy alternative among new product development in the region.”

According to Fiona, as the leading oat expert in Australia and Asia, Unigrain investment in advanced oat milk and oat ingredient production will help drive multiple benefits to these markets.

“With our combined expertise, we provide an incredibly strong offering that can deliver highly optimised solutions and enable the development and manufacture of high-quality sustainable functional ingredients, bringing significant value to customers.”

According to the Taste and nutrition business, plant-based dairy comes with a unique set of taste, nutrition and functional challenges.

“Kerry’s portfolio of clean label dairy alternative solutions uses recognisable ingredients to deliver authentic taste experiences, rich mouthfeel, meaningful nutrition and clean label freshness throughout shelf life,” it said.

Earlier this year, Kerry expanded its innovation range by launching the Tastesense Advanced range of solutions, aimed at transforming the low and zero-sugar product market.

Tastesense Advanced is an affordable alternative to sugar and stevia, supporting the development of sweetness closer to sugar and well beyond 3⁰ Brix sucrose sweetness equivalence, with optimized flavour, better mouthfeel and reduced off-notes, the company stated.

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