Valio creates milk protein concentrate targeting ice-cream and dessert market
Valio has developed a wide range of solutions for the confectionery sector. Pic: Valio
Finnish dairy company Valio has unveiled launched a new milk protein concentrate (MPC), Eila MPC 65, designed to help offer solutions for segments including ice-cream and other desserts, writes Neill Barston.
The company, which has devised a wide range of solutions for the wider sector, including confectionery, believes its latest offering has significant potential market in response to heightened consumer product demand around the world.
As it explained, its latest concentrate continues in the footsteps of its other protein-enriching products, bringing the taste and texture of the end product to the forefront. Lactose free for better digestive comfort, this new product can elevate protein puddings, shakes, ice creams, and drinks to the next level.
Furthermore, as the business observed, in the highly competitive field of protein-enriched foods, a common issue is that the flavour and the texture of the end products can be a little bit off. This was the issue Valio sought to fix with the development of Eila MPC 65.
“Consumers leading an active lifestyle want excellent nutritional value without compromising on the taste. We needed a product that has all the benefits of milk’s natural whey and casein proteins and amino acids, and none of the taste and texture problems usually associated with high-protein powders”, says Sinikka Saikkonen, Business Development Manager at Valio.
“Valio Eila MPC 65 can be used to create a versatile selection of lactose free, high-protein products that will taste like they were made from fresh milk and have the texture of traditional snacks and treats. It truly is a game changer in the field of protein-enriched products”, adds Jarna Tanskanen, Business Manager at Valio.
In addition, to ensure that the flavour and texture of the end product are what the consumers want, the company conducted a consumer test in Germany. A group of 110 people participated in the test.
When measured against four leading competitors, the Finnish firm’s high protein UHT ready-to-drink (RTD) prototype was best liked overall. Consumers who liked the thicker texture of the drink gave its appearance, flavour (taste), and texture/mouthfeel a high score. Nearly 70% of consumers agreed that Valio’s RTD prototype had ideal flavour and sweetness, being the highest score in the test.
“We offered samples of the RTD prototype at Growth Asia Summit and Vitafoods Asia in September, and people were visibly amazed by the flavour and texture. They couldn’t believe it’s a protein-enriched drink and not a regular chocolate shake”, says Meri Härmälä, International B2B marketing manager for the business.
The consumer test showed that flavour is the most important purchase criterion. Other important factors were a short ingredient list, a high level of protein and the fact that there is no added sugar. Consumers are also looking for good value for money, a good source of protein and natural ingredients.
With the addition of Valio Eila MPC 65 to the product portfolio, the company can serve its customers even better than before, with a steady supply of high-quality powdered milk ingredients. By replacing liquid milk with powdered milk products, a manufacturer can easily streamline their production process without additional steps, such as filtration, concentration or hydrolysation that are usually related to higher protein and lower lactose contents.