IFF unveils protective cultures to cut fresh dairy waste

Consumers want dairy and dairy alternative products to stay fresh and delicious without having to put up with unfamiliar ingredients on the label. IFF has developed a new range of bioprotective cultures to make that possible – so manufacturers can match the trends, enhance brand loyalty and help consumers cut down on waste.

Concerns about artificial preservatives have an increasing influence on the purchasing habits of consumers around the world. According to Mintel research, almost 30% of US consumers look for preservative-free labels when shopping, while more than half of Chinese consumers believe preservatives reduce the nutritional value of food. In Brazil, more than 80 percent are willing to pay a premium for preservative-free products.

But keeping products fresh until the end of the shelf life is no easy task. Manufacturers risk more consumer complaints and product returns due to quality issues. At a time when many manufacturers are switching from ‘use by’ to ‘best before’ dates on product labels, IFF’s two new HOLDBAC bioprotective cultures can make the critical difference, says the company.

“The whole idea behind ‘best before’ dates is to encourage consumers to trust their own senses more when deciding if a food product is still good enough to eat. We know, for example, that 17% of all yogurts in the European Union (EU) have previously been thrown away simply because they had passed their ‘use by’ date. This needs to be changed and our solutions can play a role,” says Julien Plault, global protective cultures manager at IFF.

“Bioprotective cultures contribute in maintaining the quality of fresh dairy products is intact at the end of their formal shelf life, so they still look, taste and feel fresh. If ‘best before’ is to have any impact on preventing avoidable food waste, this is absolutely key.”

HOLDBAC protective cultures comprise of specially selected microorganisms that deliver long-lasting freshness up to and beyond ‘best before’ dates. As natural solutions, they also enable manufacturers to offer a consumer-friendly product label.

Another essential benefit, states IFF, is that there is no compromise in the sensory experience. Fresh dairy products have the same delicious taste and texture at the end of shelf life as at the beginning. Even in challenging storage temperatures, brands can rely on effective natural fresh-keeping.

Julien Plault comments: “Both cultures are easy to combine with the starter culture at the beginning of fresh dairy processes. The idea is to release the full power of fermentation. That makes it possible to overcome recipe and food waste challenges while maintaining the integrity of the brand.”

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