Major European dairy cooperative Arla is currently testing a natural, no preservative new technology designed to enable international transport for fresh dairy products, with the aim of creating new global growth opportunities.
Arla exports more than one billion kilograms of milk-based products from across Northern Europe to international markets including Asia, the US and Australia. While some fresh dairy products are frozen and flown, this method doesn’t suit the majority of Arla’s fresh portfolio. The company revealed this week that it has developed a ‘supercooling’ tool that enables fresh products to travel long distances on ships.
“An easy and well-known way to distribute foods to distant markets is freezing and flying but this destroys the quality of some of our products. We’re seeing more and more markets requesting chilled, fresh-tasting and natural products rather than frozen products that require defrosting or products with preservatives,” said Lars Dalsgaard, SVP product and innovation.
Arla is conducting in-depth studies of each individual dairy product to identify precisely which factors affect product quality during transportation.
According to Dalsgaard, “the relationship between time and advanced cooling is one of the keys to unlocking portfolio limitations in markets outside of Europe. Controlling these variables enables us to put the product into hibernation mode.”
The first shipment of supercooled Castello Decorated Cream Cheeses, which cannot be frozen, recently reached Australia from Denmark, having been stored in special containers under supercooled conditions.
The new tool is currently being tested on a range of different fresh dairy products, from milk and yogurt to cheeses. It follows a number of recent technology announcements at Arla, including automated 3D imagery systems to improve animal welfare and artificial intelligence to predict milk supply.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019