Arla Foods Ingredients: focus shifts to quality in growing whey permeate market
Quality is becoming increasingly important in the rapidly growing whey permeate market, according to Arla Foods Ingredients. Whey permeate is a milk solid with around 80% lactose content. As a bulking agent, it is a highly cost-effective replacement for skimmed milk powder, lactose and sweet whey powder.
The ingredient’s potential in food applications was long untapped. However, improved filtration technology has allowed the creation of high-quality permeate. In 2017, powdered permeate received a Codex Alimentarius international standard, helping raise its profile and establish trust.
Permeate is increasingly being used by multinational brands, particularly in categories such as chocolate and biscuits, but also in hot drinks, dairy and desserts. Innova figures show that the number of new products containing whey permeate has more than doubled in the past five years, growing from 169 in 2015 to 387 in 2019.
Arla Foods Ingredients is one of the world’s largest suppliers of whey permeate. It believes that the Codex standard, as well as increasing demand, will lead to a market where quality factors such as mineral profile and microbiological requirements are as important as cost-effectiveness.
The whey permeate products in the company’s Variolac® range have a sweet milky taste, low ash content, stable mineral profile and free-flowing powder properties over a 12-month shelf life.
Henrik Jacob Hjortshoej, Head of Sales Development, Food at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “Whey permeate offers huge advantages in a range of dairy, confectionery and bakery categories. In recent years the market has exploded, with many of the biggest players taking advantage of the extraordinary cost-effectiveness permeate offers. The Codex standard was a major turning point and has resulted in a greater focus on quality, with factors such as taste, ash content and shelf life becoming increasingly important.”