Chr Hansen pushes high volume cheese production technology

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Related tags: Chr hansen, Cheese

Chr Hansen plans to use this year's Cheese Industry Conference to
showcase the technology that it believes can improve production for
high volume manufacturers, Philippa Nuttall reports.

The annual US cheese conference - to be held this year in Wisconsin during 20-21 April - will give Chr Hansen​ the chance to display its portfolio of cheese ingredients, particularly cultures.

The Danish company's culture lines cover a range of different cheeses including cheddar, pasta filata, soft, feta, cottage, continental, grana, and emmenthal cheeses. All are available as DVS (direct vat set), a highly concentrated and standardized frozen or freeze-dried form for direct inoculation into milk, which, says Chr Hansen, offers flexibility, consistent performance and production efficiency.

At the conference, the company wants, according to David Burrington, director of marketing for cultures and enzymes in North America, to draw manufacturers particular attention to its Easy-Set cheese cultures that are designed for high volume production - namely plants that produce over 1 million pounds of milk a day.

"The technology is best suited, for example, to US Cheddar operations, where the cheese will only be aged for a week or two before being used in food production, or high volume mozzerella that is destined for the top of a pizza or fast food,"​ Burrington told FoodNavigatorUSA.com.

Burrington admitted that on paper it would seem that it were cheaper for a company to use a bulk starter tank for making its cheese cultures, but he said that if they were to take into consideration the cost of chemicals, cleaning and labor, the EasySet techynology is cost efficient.

"And manufactures are often limited to making just one type of cheese. With the Easyset technology a company can change from one type of cheese to another in minutes,"​ he added.

"Easyset was launched around two years ago and we are now expanding our presence in the market through a fairly active program,"​ said Burrington, who suggested that growth is now in double-digits a year.

Chr Hansen also plans to use the conference to promote its partnership with Danish enzyme giant Novozymes, that was agreed last October. The two firms are working together for the first time in many years to design an enzyme that will boost yields as well as reducing waste products.

"We will be we will be revealing something about yields at the Worldwide Food Expo, but I can't say what,"​ said Burrington.

He concluded that it is especially important for Chr Hansen to increase its visibility because the company is up for sale and wants to show it is "business as usual"​.

A report in the Danish daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten suggested at the beginning of this month that the sale of Chr Hansen's ingredients arm could fetch nearly a €1 billion ($1.34 billion).

Citing an un-attributable source, the Danish daily said that following initial interest from about 20 to 25 investment funds and firms in the Danish firm's ingredients business, now there are seven to eight bidders left in the running.

The Financial Times quoteed the Danish paper as suggesting the unit is likely to end up in foreign hands after fellow ingredients and enzymes firms Danisco and Novozymes opted out of the purchase.

Number one cultures supplier Chr. Hansen came up for sale in November last year after its major stakeholder decided to pull away from the ingredients slice of the company to focus on the pharmaceutical unit.

Related topics: Dairy-based ingredients

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