Dairy consumption is historically large in the Western society. As an excellent source of nutrition, and especially proteins, dairy is prominent in our daily diet. The dairy technology is advanced and dates back from the mids of last century. The functionality of caseins and whey proteins was studied extensively, including the role of the minerals herein. Based on this knowledge, dairy products could be optimised with respect to sensory quality and shelf life. In addition, increased experience in processing allowed the isolation of components of the milk, and valorisation of waste streams. The biggest success being the valorisation of the whey stream from the cheese production. Now-a-days the challenges for the dairy industry are sustainability, providing healthy products and the protein transition.
The global consensus for sustainability means for the dairy industry the need to optimise their chain control and optimise their processes with respect to energy and water consumption. A good understanding of the protein functionality and of product safety is essential to reach these goals. One of the examples in the area of healthy products is the high protein trend. Especially for elderly and athletes, the muscle growth or recovery requires a high intake of protein. This explains the interest in high protein beverages. The challenge in these products is to have a high concentration of proteins, and simultaneous have a stable, palatable texture.
Again, the protein functionality and new processing routes are the key to success here. This expertise on dairy proteins is now being expanded to support the growing demand for proteins, with new sources especially from plants, which is currently in a much earlier stage of the innovation funnel. Dairy industry is working on replacing part of the dairy proteins by plant proteins, or even formulating plant-based mimicks. The composition of plant proteins is even more complex than of dairy, opening new challenges to overcome.
Or contact our protein expert Fred van de Velde directly.