Chr. Hansen’s strategy positions it as ingredients leader with expansive line

Editor’s note: Welcome to Ingredient Innovation, CMN’s new segment exploring recent innovations and trends in the dairy ingredients sector. For this segment, we will profile a leader in the ingredients industry as well as share updates on mergers and acquisitions and new offerings for cheese and dairy in ingredients — where flavor begins.

By Alyssa Mitchell

Photo courtesy of Chr. Hansen Inc.
PURPOSE-DRIVEN EMPLOYEES — “There’s been a shift in the way consumers perceive food during the pandemic, leading to a shift in market demand,” says Julien Biolley, director of business development and marketing, food cultures and enzymes, Chr. Hansen Inc. “With our purpose-driven employees, expertise in microbial supply chain and science-based offerings, we have been able to help our customers meet that demand.”

MILWAUKEE — For more than a century, Chr. Hansen Inc. has been a global bioscience leader, working to develop natural solutions for the food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

Based in Denmark with U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee, Chr. Hansen develops and produces cultures, enzymes and probiotics to improve food and health. The company’s product innovation taps into its collection of more than 40,000 microbial strains — what the company likes to refer to as “good bacteria” — one of the largest in the world.

“Our solutions enable food manufacturers to produce more with less while also reducing the use of chemicals and other synthetic additives, which makes our products highly relevant in today’s world,” says Julien Biolley, director of business development and marketing, food cultures and enzymes, Chr. Hansen Inc. “We have been delivering value to our partners — and, ultimately, end consumers worldwide — for nearly 150 years. We are proud that more than 1 billion people consume products containing our natural ingredients every day.”

Biolley began working with Chr. Hansen in 2006 at the company headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Over the past 14 years, he has served in various industries and roles in Denmark, France and now in North America, where he heads up marketing and business development for Chr. Hansen’s Food Cultures & Enzymes business unit.

Biolley notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chr. Hansen has come to the understanding that now more than ever, those who will succeed are the ones who truly innovate.

“There’s been a shift in the way consumers perceive food during the pandemic, leading to a shift in market demand. With our purpose-driven employees, expertise in microbial supply chain and science-based offerings, we have been able to help our customers meet that demand,” he says.

• Strategic market moves

Chr. Hansen has undertaken a number of strategic acquisitions over the past year, further positioning the company as a leader in innovation and comprehensive solutions provider in the microbial space.

Earlier this year, the company announced the launch of The Probiotics Institute (, a new online platform providing consumers and health care professionals with science-based and educational content on probiotics and the human microbiome.

The company this summer also announced the acquisition of UAS Labs LLC, a Wisconsin-based company specializing in clinically-documented probiotics. The acquisition helps to further strengthen and expand Chr. Hansen’s Global Microbial platform and Human Health business, company officials say.

Chr. Hansen Holding A/S also recently entered into an agreement to acquire all of the shares of Jennewein Biotechnologie GmbH, an international industrial biotechnology company developing and producing human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and rare monosaccharides such as L-Fucose and Sialic acid.

HMOs are produced industrially by fermentation, which is a core capability of Chr. Hansen. The company says HMOs are an essential group of complex milk sugars naturally occurring in human breast milk that nurture the infant microbiome and help infants develop a healthy digestive system. HMOs are approved as an ingredient for infant formula in North America, Europe, parts of Latin America and Asia with approvals pending in key markets such as China, India, Brazil and Argentina.

Chr. Hansen says it plans to invest more than $200 million euro in production assets at Jennewein until 2025, including an investment in a brown-field factory, to expand HMO capacity to supply the expected demand, which already has been secured through long-term contracts.

Meanwhile, just last month, Chr. Hansen A/S announced plans to sell its Natural Colors business to EQT IX, a global investment organization. Headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, Natural Colors is the leading developer and manufacturer of natural coloring ingredients, serving more than 1,600 customers in the food and beverage industry.

Mauricio Graber, CEO, Chr. Hansen, notes the divestment of the Natural Colors Division completes the review part of Chr. Hansen’s recently launched 2025 Strategy. Chr. Hansen now can focus on fulfilling the ambition of becoming a microbial and fermentation company with industry leading, profitable growth, Graber says.

“The needs of our customers are evolving as they seek to improve productivity while accelerating their innovation efforts to meet these changing consumer preferences,” Graber says. “The 2025 Strategy will enable us to turn these challenges into opportunities. We will focus on areas where our unique microbial and fermentation technology platforms match customer needs and global trends — making us highly relevant today and in the future.”

Chr. Hansen says its 2025 Strategy also will cement the company’s position as a global, differentiated bioscience company.

“With this strategy, we are bringing new innovation and natural solutions to the table that can really help grow the business of our cheese customers,” Biolley says.

Photo courtesy of Chr. Hansen Inc.
THE PROBIOTICS INSTITUTE — Chr. Hansen Inc. earlier this year announced the launch of The Probiotics Institute, a new online platform providing consumers and health care professionals with science-based and educational content on probiotics and the human microbiome.

• Key trends, offerings

As part of its strategy, Chr. Hansen looks at key trends influencing each member of the value chain, from farmers to dairy producers to consumers.

For cheesemakers, Biolley notes companies today are looking for product differentiation, innovation in product offerings, waste reduction, efficiency and improved yields.

“We are committed to solving challenges in cheesemaking with our expertise, and our tailored offerings cater to specific customer needs,” Biolley says. “We are able to leverage our technical expertise through a strong global application network.”

Collaboration is at the core of how Chr. Hansen works, he adds. The company runs trials and provides support through each step of the process of product development and assists in implementation with customized service and continuous troubleshooting support.

Among Chr. Hansen’s key offerings for cheese right now is CHY-MAX Supreme, a coagulant developed for significant increases in yields. CHY-MAX Supreme can help improve yield up to 1% as well as assist in achieving faster and precise production and superior functionality, Biolley says.

“It was announced last year and is still being rolled out, but we’ve heard from cheesemakers that there are significant gains with CHY-MAX Supreme,” Biolley says.

Additionally, the company’s EASY-SET cultures, A3000 and i400, help to improve cheesemaking performance, while ripening cultures and enzymes, including Chr. Hansen’s new SpiceIT Mplus microbial lipase, offer natural solutions for the highest-quality cheese.

For consistency and sustainability, Chr. Hansen offers FreshQ and Pure Appeal DVS cultures that support the food waste reduction agenda by protecting natural dairy products against yeast and mold spoilage. The company’s Pure Appeal DVS culture also helps cheesemakers to control browning for pizza cheese up to 100%.

“As the global demand for pizza continues to rise, the ability to control browning and quality becomes a key priority,” Biolley says. “Our Pure Appeal DVS culture can really make a difference and help our customers’ customers in the foodservice industry improve this functionality while maintaining efficiency, which is a key competitive parameter and a unique offering.”

Meanwhile, Chr. Hansen also is investing in innovative digital solutions. Its PhageWatch digital platform leverages the company’s expertise for consistent production. This customized online platform offers cheesemakers the ability to track their phage monitoring activities live and get updates on outcomes quickly.

As part of this endeavor, Biolley notes Chr. Hansen is stepping up its response to demand for plant-based cheese and products like yogurt as well.

“Plant-based has become a strategic priority, and we really want to understand what the future is for plant-based foods,” he says. “We want to step up the game and help the industry to think about all their options, particularly by using fermentation as a sustainable enabler to bring the next generation of plant-based products.

• Looking ahead, giving back

As the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted markets and demand over much of 2020, Chr. Hansen has learned the value of an industry that is increasingly agile and adaptable, Biolley notes.

“I think now more than ever our cultures and enzymes solutions are helpful for flexibility and efficiency in dairy operations,” he says.

Biolley notes this year, Chr. Hansen also has evolved its capabilities with digitalization projects that help the company to provide services while still working remotely.

“There are some major opportunities and more to come through the digitalization of operations,” he says.

“We really are trying to emphasize the need to bring the industry together and aligning on needs,” he adds. “There’s never been so many challenges for the cheese industry, and we need to be united in this.”

Meanwhile, Chr. Hansen also continues to support the industry not only through its innovative offerings, but in its sponsorships of industry events like the annual Championship Cheese Auction hosted by the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

Biolley notes the lack of in-person conferences this year has been a challenge for the entire industry, as these events are key places for stakeholders to connect and share advances in science and technology for cheese and dairy.

Still, Chr. Hansen will continue to make connections in the industry, and “we want customers to connect with us and take advantage of what we can do for them,” he says. “We have very passionate people at Chr. Hansen, and we put the customer at the center of what we do. We want to continue to work closely together to make the whole industry better.”




CMN article search

© 2024 Cheese Market News • Quarne Publishing, LLC • Legal InformationOnline Privacy PolicyTerms and Conditions
Cheese Market News • Business/Advertising Office: P.O. Box 628254 • Middleton, WI 53562 • 608/831-6002
Cheese Market News • Editorial Office: 5315 Wall Street, Suite 100 • Madison, WI 53718 • 608/288-9090