Market opportunities for dairy proteins

Monday, July 21, 2014: 2:00 PM
3501C (Kansas City Convention Center)
Annie Bienvenue , U.S. Dairy Export Council, Arlinton, VA
Abstract Text: The protein trend, popular among athletes for decades, has now reached several mainstream segments. Consumers – especially in the United States and Western Europe – have become increasingly aware of the benefits of protein in the diet for satiety, weight management and muscle-related benefits such as exercise recovery and healthy aging. Food manufacturers now offer beverages, bars, cereals, meals and yogurts formulated to deliver increased levels of protein, while maintaining a good taste profile. In Asia and the Middle East, the protein trend is at the cusp of what we are seeing in the United States and Europe. Growth in demand for protein-rich foods is expected as consumers in these regions achieve greater financial prosperity, become aware of health trends in other countries, and move toward a more Western diet. The demand for protein-rich foods presents a huge opportunity for dairy’s many products and ingredients. Dairy protein can deliver good taste, functionality, fast and/or slowly digested proteins and superior nutrition in a product formulation. In order to capitalize on formulators’ desire to increase protein levels in foods and beverages, dairy suppliers must offer ingredients that will meet buyers’ specifications, consistently perform and deliver a high-quality finished product. Dairy ingredient performance depends on the protein type, structure, pH, ionic strength, interactions with other ingredients in the formula and processing conditions of the finished product. Therefore, it is crucial for suppliers to understand formulators’ parameters to help in selecting the best dairy ingredient functionality for a food system. In a highly competitive marketplace, formulators have choices of ingredients to increase protein levels in food formulation. The Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS), the new FAO-recommended method, demonstrates the higher bioavailability of dairy proteins when compared to plant-based protein sources. Dairy proteins can therefore distinguish themselves by the excellence of the nutrition they deliver. To allow for more dairy protein to be used in a wide variety of food applications, the dairy industry must accelerate innovation to expand the offering of cost-effective ingredients that will perform consistently under diverse processing conditions and challenges. Examples of the attributes requested include: for beverages, improved heat stability across a wide pH range, greater clarity and a very clean flavor profile; in bar applications, a dairy protein that can resist hardening over time.

Keywords: Dairy protein, Functionality, Export