Adding two new cultures to its special portfolio of 'Kosher for Passover' (KFP) cheese cultures, Chr. Hansen now offers a total of 14 culture blends for the production of "extra kosher" dairy products. The KFP CHEESE portfolio offers producers of cottage cheese, cheddar, and white brined cheese the opportunity to make cheese which complies with all levels of kosher requirements.
Kosher foods are those that conform to the rules of the Jewish religion. Passover is the special time in the Jewish calendar where food products have to be extra "pure" or "super-kosher". Passover begins on the 15th day of the month of 'Nisan' (equivalent to March and April). Unlike 'chametz', which can be eaten any day of the year except during Passover, KFP foods can be eaten year-round.
"Chr. Hansen's KFP cultures portfolio called KFP CHEESE consists of bacteria culture blends made according to the highest kosher rules, so they can be used in any kosher cheese no matter the kosher level," explains Roy Riley, Marketing Director, Food Cultures & Enzymes, Chr. Hansen USA. "It is specifically designed for the Passover cheese production which requires rabbinical supervision of all ingredients."
Ambitious KFP program
"We launched the first two culture blends in the winter 2008/09 and now we are Introducing the F-DVS KFP CHEESE-03 and -04 cultures. Typically, KFP culture programs are restricted and lower in performance as compared to normal cheese culture programs. This is due to several issues. First, the KFP market is considered small and typically doesn't receive much program support or a large culture rotation. As such, most vendors provide the bare minimum for this market. Second, due to restrictions on the base ingredients that must be used, KFP cultures are typically lower in activity and overall performance" explains Riley.
"Chr. Hansen's KFP CHEESE portfolio is the strongest KFP culture program available in the dairy market today. We have been able to develop a program that is faster, more durable and provides the consistency and dependability that lacks for most KFP cheese producers," says Riley.
Kosher equals pure
While the KFP CHEESE portfolio is developed specifically for cheese to be eaten during the Jewish Passover spring festival, it may not only be North American and Israeli Jews following the religious eating habits who will buy KFP cheese products.
As reported by New York Times on Jan. 10, 2010 ("For Some, ‘Kosher’ Equals Pure") the non-Jewish kosher food market is growing due to the increased focus on food quality and safety:
"In an era of heightened concern over food contamination, allergies and the provenance of ingredients, the market for kosher food among non-Jews is setting records. Only about 15 percent of people who buy kosher do it for religious reasons, according to Mintel, a research group that last year produced a report on the kosher food explosion. The top reasons cited for buying kosher? Quality, followed by general healthfulness."
According to the newspaper, 40 percent of the food sold at US grocery stores today has a kosher imprint.
Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company that develops natural ingredient solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The products include cultures, enzymes, probiotics and natural colors, and all solutions are based on strong research and development competencies coupled with significant technology investments. Revenue in the 2013/14 financial year was EUR 756 million. The company holds a leading market position in all its divisions: Cultures & Enzymes, Health & Nutrition and Natural Colors. It has more than 2,500 dedicated employees in over 30 countries and main production facilities in Denmark, France, USA and Germany. Chr. Hansen was founded in 1874 and is listed on NASDAQ OMX Copenhagen.