Additional protein innovations

Ingredia Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio, offers a range of specialty milk proteins that not only boost the protein content of dairy foods, but often at the same time assist with mouthfeel and stabilization. They even allow for the development of new cheese and spread concepts.

“With our milk protein isolate, we can produce a 10% dairy protein fruit smoothie,” said Kate Sager, marketing manager-America. “The milk protein was designed to improve mouthfeel and creaminess while having high-water binding and emulsifying capabilities and excellent hydration properties, wettability and dispersibility.”
Specialty proteins may be used in the formulation of such cheeses as quark.

Using dairy-derived ingredients, the company offers an innovative approach to making cheese, one that does not involve separation of curds and whey. In other words, the entire vat of milk gets cultured and coagulated/acidified into curd, which further gets formed into cheese.

The patented technology allows for the production of hard and soft cheeses without whey separation.

“It enables product innovation in terms of new textures, tastes, compositions and forms, as well as provides costs savings,” Ms. Sager said.

Without any whey, there is no draining or need to dispose of a liquid stream. This may reduce operational costs by as much as 50%, according to the company. Because there is no more curd cutting or draining, capital investment in production equipment also is reduced significantly.

The cheesemaker combines milk, milkfat and specialty milk proteins in a vat. This gets cultured, coagulated/acidified and salted. The resulting curd may be processed into various types of cheese depending of the initial formulation and the specialty protein ingredient used. It is also possible to make imitation cheeses using water and vegetable fat.

If a fresh cheese such as quark or labneh is desired, the cheese curd is blended, with or without additional ingredients such as fruit prep, cream, sugar, etc. For spreadable cheeses, such as cream cheese, stabilizers and emulsifiers may be added. Curd also may be cut and brined to make feta cheese or simply ripened for brie, cheddar and Gouda varieties. The flexible production process enables manufacturers to produce many types of cheese, as well as create new ones.

One of the company’s functional native proteins that is sourced directly from milk through a non-denaturing process may be used in the manufacture of a quark-based cultured dairy snack. The protein allows for a glossy appearance and a creamy mouthfeel, while delivering a fresh and milky taste that one expects in such a fresh cheese.

“This quark can be used to produce a lower-fat, higher-protein cheesecake filling for premium ready-to-eat dairy desserts,” Ms. Sager said.

Ingredia also offers dairy proteins that have been specifically adapted to Greek-style yogurts.

“With a total protein content ranging from 60% to 70%, these proteins are different from standard milk protein concentrate, as they have been designed to enhance texture and boost creaminess in nonfat and low-fat yogurt applications,” said Julien Troupin, research and development specialist. “These proteins also have a pleasant milky taste, which makes them easy to use at higher dosage levels without contributing any off-flavors or requiring the addition of masking agents.

“To reach the higher protein content expected in Greek-style yogurts, 6% to 10% of the protein can be incorporated into a standard yogurt recipe,” Mr. Troupin said. “Available in powder form, the protein should be incorporated into the milk before pasteurization. A rehydration time is required to make sure the protein is well incorporated into the liquid phase.”