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DSM’s Maxiren XDS offers superior texture, longer shelf life for cheese

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

Image courtesy of DSM

FLAVOR WHEEL — DSM’s Flavor Wheel cultures provide cheese producers the tools to expand the flavor of their cheese with a palette of flavor adjunct options. The cultures build on the flavorful acidification already created by DSM’s starter cultures and can be added directly to the cheese vat in combination with any acidifying system.
Photo courtesy of DSM
IMPROVED TEXTURE — DSM’s Maxiren XDS is a fermentation produced chymosin created specifically with cheesemaker needs in mind, offering extended textural shelf life in cheese while maintaining lower proteolysis. The product is suited for a wide range of cheeses, including Mozzarella, Cheddar and American-style.

WAUKESHA, Wis. — DSM Food Specialties is offering cheesemakers new solutions for quality ingredients that enhance flavor, improve texture and increase shelf life, giving consumers additional options when it comes to safe, value-added cheeses.

DSM Food Specialties is a division of Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living with headquarters in Heerlen, The Netherlands. The company stands behind its philosophy that better processed food should be affordable and accessible to more people, today and in the future. Its specialty ingredients enable consumers to have access to better tasting, more affordable, more nutritious foods, produced efficiently with less resources, waste or chemicals, and with a longer shelf life, the company says.

As a leading global supplier of specialty dairy ingredients, DSM offers a wide range of cultures, enzymes, cheese ripening and bio-preservation solutions, as well as residual antibiotic milk tests to produce cheese, fermented milk products and lactose-free milk. The company’s dairy expertise is built on almost 150 years of science and experience with microbiology and fermentation technology and has resulted in leading dairy industry brands.

One such brand is DSM’s Maxiren XDS. For more than 100 years, DSM has been helping cheesemakers across the world produce cheeses with just the right flavor and textures to appeal to very specific markets. The company’s range of Delvo cheese cultures and enzymes — such as the Maxiren brand — work together to create unique tastes and textures while keeping costs down and running production at maximum efficiency, notes Sofia Lara-Aguilar, technical service manager for DSM’s North American cheese team.

“Whether you produce Cheddar, continental, Mozzarella, cottage, white, Swiss cheese or processed cheese, we offer a wide range of solutions,” Lara-Aguilar says.

Maxiren XDS is a fermentation-produced chymosin coagulant that delivers high yields and consistent quality, Lara-Aguilar notes.

“Today’s cheese manufacturers face multiple challenges with continually increasing quality requirements, pressure to optimize value, taste, texture and machinability, and a need to produce in an efficient and sustainable way,” she says. “DSM’s Maxiren range provides the proven performance to answer these needs, and Maxiren XDS is our latest innovation in cheese coagulants.”

Maxiren XDS is a bovine chymosin created specifically with cheesemaker needs in mind, offering extended textural shelf life in cheese while maintaining lower proteolysis, Lara-Aguilar says. It has the highest specificity on the market for improved texture and machinability, to improve plant efficiency and to reduce customers’ carbon footprints, she adds. The product is especially suited for Mozzarella, Cheddar and American-style cheeses.

“This coagulant gives cheese producers more efficiency and flexibility in production processes, meaning they are no longer up against the clock at every stage,” Lara-Aguilar says. “As the texture of the cheese is retained, shredding, dicing and slicing can take place effortlessly and efficiently at any point in the shelf life.”

She adds that recent product trials have shown the benefits of Maxiren XDS vary with the type of cheese and application.

“In aged Cheddar, we see improved body and texture. This is very important, especially for conversion purposes (shredding, dicing, slicing),” she says. “Another big benefit we’ve seen with XDS is flavor improvement, as well as improved texture and reduction of bitterness.

“When you move to higher-moisture American styles like Monterey Jack and Colby, when you increase the moisture content, it’s common to see more texture defects — the cheese gets pasty and soft,” she adds. “With this product, we’ve been able to extend that shelf life and reduce those defects. This is a benefit to both the cheese producer and cheese converters.”

Kent Vogel, technical sales manager for DSM Food Specialties, notes these added benefits for converters have been especially beneficial as the industry continues to navigate the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the struggles in the industry has been the ebb and flow of demand for Mozzarella/Provolone and other cheeses whose inventories shifted during COVID, sometimes adding weeks of storage,” he says. “This was a main focus for the need for this type of product — to increase not only shelf life but the quality of the cheese itself during maturation. Improved texture is one of the main benefits we’ve seen. The difference is huge and really what differentiates XDS from other solutions in the market.”

Vogel adds Maxiren XDS’ versatility for use in multiple cheese varieties gives manufacturers needed flexibility.

“It works in American-style cheeses — including aged Cheddar — young cheeses and on the Italian side. So it’s multi-versatile. By providing that diversity, it enhances the value of the product for the producer who’s making multiple styles of cheese,” he says.

This also reduces the complexity of inventory, as manufacturers are utilizing one product instead of multiple ingredients across different cheeses in the plant, Lara-Aguilar adds.

Maxiren XDS provides further efficiencies when it comes to food waste, as the improved quality and cheese texture make for better shreds and other converting applications, reducing trim and waste, she says.

Maxiren XDS works in tandem with other DSM products to provide additional benefits for Mozzarella producers — particularly pizza makers, Vogel notes. DSM recently attended the International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas where the company spotlighted Maxiren XDS’s use with Delvo Cheese CP-500, another Delvo cheese culture that stretches Mozzarella yield by up to 1.3%.

Delvo Cheese CP cultures are developed for production of pasta filata varieties such as Provolone, Mozzarella, Kashkaval, String cheese and pizza cheese. The CP cultures deliver a consistent acidification in Italian cheese — extending shelf life while improving the stretchability, melt and functionality of the cheese.
Lara-Aguilar notes CP-500 dramatically improves the moisture content in these pasta filata cheeses.

She adds that higher moisture sometimes leads to defects and promotes more enzymatic activity.

“However, by combining CP-500 with the Maxiren XDS, the synergies create a cheese with a higher moisture content plus improved texture and functionality,” she says. “This is preserved over the cheese’s shelf life.”

Meanwhile, DSM notes making a perfect cheese starts with excellent milk quality, and the company’s leading Delvotest range of residual antibiotic tests allows full transparency into milk quality.

Vogel notes that as a supplier, giving customers the tools they need to test for antibiotics at the producer level is one of the key services DSM provides to the dairy industry.

He adds the Delvotest is easy to use, delivers accurate test results and is considered the official national reference test in many countries worldwide.

“It helps detect a broad spectrum of antibiotic residues, helps farmers avoid penalties and reduces milk losses throughout the chain,” he says.

Between services like the Delvotest and its wide array of product offerings, DSM seeks to be a one-stop provider for cheesemakers seeking innovative specialty solutions, Lara-Aguilar notes.

“If there’s a cheese producer who wants to create any type of flavor, any type of cheese, we have a solution for that,” she says. “I think we have the most comprehensive adjunct and coagulant portfolio, as well as acidifiers for any type of cheese.

“We help our customers create unique flavor profiles because we have all the tools as well as very strong technical services both here in North America and Europe,” she adds. “Our expertise in all applications helps our customers both with troubleshooting existing lines and creating new products.”

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