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WhiteWhey™ is the right way

Press Release   •   Nov 12, 2013 09:50 GMT

Chr. Hansen’s new cheese coloring solution allows producers of cheddar and gouda cheese to get more value from their whey while maintaining a great visual appearance of their cheese products.


Whey is a by-product of cheesemaking. It is the liquid remaining after milk has been coagulated and drained. Whey has several commercial uses. Dairy companies process the whey and sell it to other food producers who use whey powder as an additive in many processed foods including baby food, bread, crackers, ice cream and yogurt.

However, when producing cheese types such as cheddar and gouda the cheese makers add color — traditionally annatto color — to give the cheese the shade that consumers expect from a cheddar or gouda cheese. Inevitably, however, the color transfers to the whey, coloring it yellow. This is an issue because the food industry requires white whey for their food products.

WhiteWhey™: New color solution with multiple upsides
Chr. Hansen, a global leader in both natural colors and ingredients for the cheese industry, now introduces a strong alternative to annatto.

“We call it “WhiteWhey™””, explains Chr. Hansen’s Thomas Christensen, Industry Product Manager, Natural Colors Division. “By replacing annatto with the beta-carotene based WhiteWhey™ colors, cheese producers will experience an 85-95% reduction in color transfer to the whey. The cheese will maintain the same delicious yellow to red shades as our new WhiteWhey™ colors offers a 1:1 color match compared to annatto-based solutions,” Thomas Christensen explains.

The patent pending WhiteWhey™ solution is also superior to standard beta-carotene based solutions available on the market because these colors transfer into the whey, too.

Regulatory and commercial demand
“The preliminary feedback we have received from the dairy industry is very positive,” Thomas Christensen continues. “In fact, one international cheese manufacturer called it an “industry changer”! Cheesemakers welcome the innovation because it facilitates better whey production but also because there is an international push from authorities as well as the food industry to phase out carry-over of food colorants in foods for infants and young children. New regulation in the EU and China outlaws annatto residues in whey used for infant nutrition products. Using beta-carotene instead of annatto will comply with the regulation as beta-carotene occurs naturally in milk.”

“Finally, there is a shortage of high quality whey to serve the food industry — in particular the Asian infant nutrition industry which increasingly requests high quality raw materials and ingredients,” Thomas Christensen concludes.

According to a 3A Business Consulting report the global whey powder market grew by 15% in volume from 2006 to 2012. Collectively, European and American manufacturers of cheddar and continental cheese produce approximately 160 million tons of whey powder annually. The estimated market value of the whey is USD 7-8 billion.

WhiteWhey™ at FIE
Chr. Hansen will be showcasing WhiteWhey™ at the Food Ingredients Europe 2013 trade show taking place in Frankfurt, Germany November 19-21. Meet Chr. Hansen at stand no. 8K48 in Hall no. 8.0.

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.

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