Fonterra Launches Low Lactose Instant Whole Milk Powder
01 Mar 2017 --- NZMP, the global ingredients brand of Fonterra, has launched NZMP Low Lactose Instant Whole Milk Powder (IWMP). This new ingredient has less than 2% lactose and allows consumer milk powder manufacturers to capitalize on the increasing consumer demand for low lactose foods.
Lactose is the sugar found naturally in milk and other dairy products. It is broken down by the enzyme lactase in the gastrointestinal tract and absorbed, but some people lose the ability to digest lactose. This lactose malabsorption can cause symptoms such as abdominal pain and bloating. Nearly three out of four people in Asia are deficient in the enzyme lactase and up to 40% of people in the Middle East and Africa are lactase deficient (Misselwitz B, Pohl D, Fruhauf H, et al. Lactose malabsorption and intolerance: pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment. United European Gastroenterology Journal 2013.).
Fonterra Consumer Powders Category Director NZMP Marketing Andrew Maude says, “We developed our Low Lactose ingredient so customers can provide a premium dairy nutrition solution to consumers who avoid milk because of lactose.”
“Our analysis shows low lactose dairy offerings can command a 32% premium above standard offers, with consumer milk powder manufacturers able to make up to a 17% margin on low lactose instant whole milk products.”
Consumer awareness and popularity of low lactose products has been steadily increasing – with 13% year-on-year growth in on-pack claims in the Middle East and Africa and 54% year-on-year growth in on-pack claims in South East Asia.
“Demand for low lactose products has increased, and there is an enormous opportunity for profitable growth with low lactose dairy powders.
“NZMP Low Lactose IWMP will give our customers access to new consumer and market segments, as well as increase consumption frequency and volume per occasion with existing customers,” says Maude.
NZMP Low Lactose IWMP tastes creamy and is naturally sweeter than instant whole milk powder, with no added sugar.
Standard Instant Whole Milk Powder contains 40% lactose, while NZMP Low Lactose IWMP contains less than 2% lactose (a 95% decrease in lactose).
That means a 25 gram serve of NZMP Low Lactose IWMP contains less than half a gram of lactose, which is then diluted in water when consumed. As a result, most people will be able to tolerate the lactose in this ingredient without the symptoms associated with lactose intolerance.
NZMP, Fonterra’s dairy ingredients business, has expertise in consumer milk powder that dates back to the 1970s, when they pioneered the instant whole milk powder export market in multi-wall bags. Since then NZMP has developed into a global leader, producing half a million tons of instant whole milk powder per year for customers globally – offering consumer milk powder solutions to some of the world’s biggest brands.
Manufacturers using NZMP ingredients can leverage the advantage of New Zealand grass-fed dairy, as well as benefit from dairy expertise that leads the world. In addition, customers using NZMP’s newest ingredient can label it as low lactose, a good source of calcium and high in protein.
In a detailed and wide ranging interview, to be published in the March issue of The World of Food Ingredients, Kelvin Wickham, Chief Operating Officer of NZMP (pictured), speaks about the dairy market, business plans and innovation.
On the development front, the area of advanced nutrition provides a key platform for the company. Recent innovations include a new protein ingredient [IX WPI] that is claimed to deliver up to 10 percent more protein than other standard whey protein offerings. While some protein ingredients have traditionally been formulated from cheese whey, NZMP has used lactic casein whey to make the protein ingredient. Designed for use in sports drinks, the new protein ingredient is higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than other similar protein products.
“The key differentiator with the IX WPI is that it is from 100% lactic whey, rather than a cheese based whey protein isolate (WPI). It is different from standard micro-filtrated WPI, in that it is an ion exchanged lactic whey,” says Wickham. “We believe that we have strong evidence that it has unique functional application benefits, which we are currently quantifying. We plan to launch it at the IFT in June this year [Las Vegas] and also lay out the various products in our WPI portfolio. When we finish quantifying the benefits, we will then position the ingredient within the broad SureProtein™ range, which is where we see the strongest point of differentiation.”
Speaking about the pipeline in general, Wickham noted that is quite broad and ranges across their consumer powders. This includes the low lactose instant milk powder launched at Gulfood to tap into the growing low lactose trend in the Middle East and Asian regions and a focus on bakery across Asia. “There is a renaissance in milk fats and its popularity as a new health product is fantastic. We recently launched a pizza cheese with great stretch that offers the full functionality of a mozzarella, but at a price for markets that may find the top end mozzarella unaffordable,” he says. “Another focus has been on dairy beverages. The fourth big area is the pediatric, sports and active nutrition space. It is about trying existing products in different applications through working with customers,” he concludes.
By Robin Wyers
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