Procudan develops first fossil-free cheese wax
Cheese wax in its current form is made of oil-based raw materials. ProCera Natural, the newly developed product launched on the market, is a fossil-free cheese wax that has all the familiar qualities of wax that is currently used in dairy production all over the world.
ProCera Natural has been developed by Danish wax manufacturer Procudan and tested in collaboration with Scandinavia’s leading dairies. The patented recipe consists among other of beeswax. All the other ingredients also come from raw materials of natural origin.
The development process began with the end goal of eliminating fossil materials from cheese packaging, while continuing to deliver a product that dairies would be able to use without having to implement changes in their production processes.
It has taken six years to crack the code and make natural ingredients both practical and usable by cheese producers, explains Procudan’s CEO Tommy H. Pedersen. “Our customers follow trends in a market, which are on the outlook for sustainable products. There are probably also lots of people to whom it makes sense that natural foods like cheese should be matured and sold in natural packaging, he says.
Cheese wax has many different applications. It is used to mature cheeses, to protect them during transportation and is also considered in many parts of the world to be an attractive form of retail packaging.
Testing for all these aspects took place at Procudan’s own test lab and at large dairy production facilities in various locations in Scandinavia. Utilising the new product only requires tiny adjustments when dairies transition from a traditional cheese wax to this natural variant.
Procudan also sees potential in the use of ProCera Natural as a form of sales packaging that supports the cheeses story about quality and natural origin. The only available cheese packaging options to date have involved the use of various forms of packaging that are made of oil industry by-products, in the form of either petrochemical wax or plastic packaging.
Procudan is the only cheese wax producer in Scandinavia. In addition to making cheese wax, Procudan also supplies ingredients and packaging to the food industry in general.
A common goal for all the company’s business interests is the creation of value in partnership with the company’s customers. This goal was also a component towards the final development of this product, which was aided by dairies in several countries. Cooperation with customers was particularly essential during the final stages of the project as the various wax variants were being made ready for the market, Pedersen says. “Developing something for our own sake is pointless. It has to be something the dairies can use too,” he explains.
From the beginning of the project to the present day, Procudan tested more than 5,000 different recipes before finally producing some prototypes and variants that covered every customer requirement. As it progressed, the project received support from Innovation Fund Denmark’s InnoBooster programme and the European Eurostars innovation programme.
The Danish Technological Institute also contributed as permanent knowledge partner. Scientists from several universities were directly involved in the development of ProCera Natural and in some new technical methods that were used to analyse and test cheese wax according to a precise data-founded basis.