The licence includes access to Arla Foods Ingredients’ extensive expertise in developing, producing and marketing lactose-free milk and yogurt.
Until now, the breakthrough filtration technology has only been available to other companies in the Arla Foods group in Scandinavia and the UK. “That leaves many openings for licence agreements elsewhere,” according to Henrik Andersen, Arla Foods Ingredients CEO.
“This is an opportunity for dairy manufacturers to give lactose-intolerant consumers the dairy nutrition they need from lactose-free products with a far more appealing taste than traditional dairy alternatives based on soya or rice milk,” he said.
The filtration technology is unique for its ability to separate half the lactose out of milk by purely mechanical means without any other changes to the milk’s composition.
Addition of lactose – the enzyme missing from the digestive systems of lactose-intolerant consumers – then splits the remaining lactose content into glucose and galactose.
“What the enzyme does is predigest the lactose in the milk so it no longer provokes an uncomfortable reaction,” said Hans Henrik Holst, Arla Foods Ingredients innovation manager. “By splitting the lactose into two monosaccharide components, the final product gains the same sweetness as standard milk.
“Lactose-free drinks based on our technology contain all the natural dairy calcium, protein, minerals and other nutritional biomolecules of milk, and have a real milk taste.”
The international market potential is huge for premium lactose-free products that offer excellent nutrition and flavour. In the UK, Finland and Germany, for example, more than 15% of consumers are believed to be lactose intolerant, with up to 90% among some African and Asian populations.
Source: Arla Foods Ingredients
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