Fonterra takes its first steps in non-dairy products

Fonterra diversifies into non-dairy products. The New Zealand dairy giant has launched a start-up with Dutch multinational Royal DSM that seeks to commercialize fermentation-derived proteins with dairy properties – aka alt-milk.

The collaborative has been working together since 2019 on the research and development of precision fermentation, a food technology that harnesses microorganisms to produce proteins similar to traditional dairy products.

“With proteins produced by fermentation having a wide range of potential applications for customers and consumers, this partnership aligns well with the cooperative’s strategy to be a leader in dairy science and innovation. says Kornel Mistry-Mehta, Chief Innovation and Brand Officer. in Fonterra.

The startup has yet to be named, but Jonathan Boswel, program manager for complementary nutrition and new partnership development, said it would be determined before incorporation.

There are already several products on the market containing fermentation-derived whey analogue in several categories, including ice cream, beverages and cream cheese, he explains.

“As consumer preferences continue to evolve, we see both dairy and other sources of nutrition playing complementary roles in consumer choice,” Boswel said.

He added that while dairy nutrition will always be the company’s main strength, it is aware that consumer preferences are changing.

“There will always be strong demand for our sustainable pasture-based dairy products,” he concluded. “At the same time, we believe that proteins made with emerging technologies can work with our dairy products.”

In addition to developing alternative milk, Fonterra and DSM have collaborated to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions using DSM’s methane inhibition technology in New Zealand’s pasture-based farming system.

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