Blessed be the cheesemakers as dairy gains from poultry industry

The poultry industry’s loss is dairy’s gain — with hydrolysed protein derived from milk being substituted for egg albumen.

Food manufacturers have turned to the dairy world in response to tighter egg supplies — a welcome change for the dairy industry, which saw milk fats widely substituted with vegetable products during recent dairy product price booms.

Now, an egg price boom has led to food processors rejecting traditional egg ingredients.

The EU ‘laying hens’ directive came into effect on Jan 1, requiring all battery cages for laying hens to be upgraded, and the resulting slump in egg production has boosted prices for liquid whole egg or egg powder ingredients used by processors such as industrial bakers.

They have turned to less expensive fractionated milk proteins, which are also lower in fat and cholesterol. With egg ingredients typically making up close to 40% of the ingredient cost for baked goods, the savings could be enormous, especially when egg supplies are tight.

Arla Foods Ingredients has been one of the companies to benefit, with sales of its Nutrilac fractionated whey proteins almost doubled so far this year.

Arla sources say they have been looking for 30 years at how to use the huge amount of whey they generate as a by-product from cheesemaking.

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