Arla employs supercooling technology for long-distance transport
Distance is no longer a difficulty for Arla Foods, which has pioneered a new supercooling technology, enabling fresh dairy products to travel long distances on ships, opening up international export opportunities.
Every year, Arla exports more than 1 billion kilos of milk-based products from the company’s 10,300 farmer owners from across Northern Europe to international markets as far afield as Asia, the US and Australia. While some fresh dairy products are frozen and flown, this method doesn’t suit the majority of Arla’s fresh portfolio, triggering its innovation team to investigate this new natural, preservative-free transport solution for fresh dairy products.
“An easy and well known way to distribute foods to distant markets is freezing and flying but this destroys the quality of some of our products. We’re seeing more and more markets requesting chilled, fresh tasting and natural products rather than frozen products that require defrosting or products with preservatives. Our new, innovative cooling tool overcomes this challenge, creating possibilities to expand our product portfolio globally,” said Lars Dalsgaard, senior vice president product and innovation.
“We have found that the relationship between time and advanced cooling is one of the keys to unlocking portfolio limitations in markets outside of Europe. Controlling these variables enables us to put the product into hibernation mode, or ‘to sleep’, and deliver it fresh and in top quality at its arrival,” said Lars.
A supercool new launch in Australia
Arla has been looking to expand its range of Castello cheese in Australia, but many of its short shelf-life products can’t be frozen and wouldn’t make the journey from Denmark where they’re made.
Recently, the first shipment of Castello Decorated Cream Cheeses landed in Australia, having been stored in special containers under supercooled conditions.
“We are thrilled by the quality of the product and excited to launch a unique and premium offering of cream cheeses for Aussie consumers. Supercooling has been instrumental for the launch of Castello Decorated Cream Cheeses, but this is just the beginning.” said brand manager for Castello in Australia, Rucha Sarma.
The new process can unlock significant growth opportunities by bringing a broader portfolio of short shelf-life products to markets.
“This may sound simple, but achieving the extremely precise time versus temperature balance, which supercooling requires, demands unwavering persistence and passionate focus from our innovation team. In close collaboration with supply chain, logistics and local markets, they’re making mission impossible, very possible,” said Lars.
The new tool is currently being tested on a range of different fresh dairy products from milk and yogurt to cheeses.