UK – Arla Food Ingredients has partnered with British dairy cooperative First Milk to produce a specialist whey protein powder at First Milk’s Lake District Creamery.

In the agreement, First Milk will manufacture Nutrilac FO-7875 on behalf of Arla Foods Ingredients using the company’s proprietary process, with Arla Foods Ingredients marketing and selling the product internationally.

In addition, First Milk will continue to manufacture whey protein concentrate powder – WPC80 – and market it through its existing partnership.

Arla’s patented microparticulate whey protein concentrate product is used as an ingredient to enhance the level of protein in food and drink products.

The new specialty protein the two companies have partnered to scale up is Nutrilac FO-7875. According to Anne Hoest Stenbaek, head of marketing at Arla Foods Ingredients, the protein can be used in a range of applications, in particular protein-enriched dairy drinks.

She also noted that the ingredient has a unique ability to increase the protein content of food and drink products to very high levels without sacrificing texture or stability.

The companies in a statement highlighted Nutrilac FO-7875 allows manufacturers to develop both spoonable and drinkable yogurts with significantly higher protein content than typical products, which generally range from 5% to 9%. For example, it can be used to create a drinking yogurt with 11% protein and only 0.8% fat.

Over the last few years, we have completed a significant investment program across our operations, which means we are well-placed to expand the range of high-quality, specialist products we can efficiently manufacture,” commented Shelagh Hancock, chief executive of First Milk.

The whey partnership comes at a time when the global demand for protein-rich food and drink continues.

Glanbia Nutrition says dairy proteins, which include whey and milk proteins, will continue to lead in premium applications, such as sports nutrition, clinical nutrition, and infant formula.

Known as a complete protein source, dairy proteins also offer important advantages over other sources of proteins in taste and functionality.

The dairy proteins are expected to gain a share in niches that emphasize protein quality.

The Global Protein Market is seeing a greater demand for high-quality solutions, with GlobalNewsWire projecting the market will register a CAGR of 3.59% to reach US$27.73 in 2026 in the forecast period of 2021-2026.

Recently, Arla Foods Ingredients also developed a solution based on 100% whey-based hydrolysates Lacprodan HYDRO 365, and Nutrilac FO-8751 that specifically targets fermented protein beverages, including kombucha, drinking yogurts, and clear protein drinks.

The company said the whey proteins can minimize cloudiness and sedimentation thereby creating clear, protein-enriched kombucha-style products.

The innovation ‘opens up new ways to give ‘protein beverages a twist,’ according to the Danish supplier.

Manufacturers can use the ingredient with thermophilic cultures for fermented drinks, or mesophilic cultures for kombucha-style beverages, both of which are high in probiotics and lactose-free. They can also be produced in a standard yogurt line.

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