IFF offers innovative portfolio of full solutions for dairy industry

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.

Photo courtesy of IFF

CHOOZIT VINTAGE — IFF’s new CHOOZIT VINTAGE culture is designed specifically to answer U.S. and Canadian manufacturers’ need for high-quality Cheddars. The culture helps with overcoming undesirable flavor development such as bitterness during aging.

Photo courtesy of IFF
LACTASE ENZYMES — IFF’s lactase range is backed by the company’s expertise in food, beverage, health, biosciences and sensorial experiences, making IFF an ideal partner to deliver the dairy innovations of tomorrow. Pictured above are BONLACTA, a high-purity lactase that can hydrolyze lactose faster under refrigeration and high-temperature conditions, and NURICA, the first enzyme on the market to meet both low-sugar and high-fiber needs by producing prebiotic dietary fibers.

By Alyssa Mitchell

NEW YORK — For more than 130 years, IFF has focused on finding innovative solutions to bring “better for you” products to market. The company, with U.S. headquarters based in New York, offers end-to-end service and an unparalleled product portfolio for customers to bring scents, tastes, experiences, ingredients and solutions to their products.

Two years ago, IFF launched a new brand identity designed to propel the company’s transformation and reinforce its leadership role in the global value chain for consumer goods and commercial products. Upon the completion of its merger with DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences business in early 2021, IFF began a new era guided by an authentic customer-centric approach and commitment to execution, deep research and development (R&D) and innovation capabilities, a storied legacy of artistry and a passion to be an essential partner for its customers around the world.

IFF’s brand identity and tagline, “Where science and creativity meet,” captures the company’s longstanding focus on the dynamic interplay between artistry and science to deliver differentiated, integrated solutions to customers. By merging with DuPont, IFF now is positioned to offer customers a robust, comprehensive solutions portfolio, notes Rossana Rodriguez, global marketing director for cultures and food enzymes at IFF.

“We’re not just a bigger company, but we’re a better company that can deliver today’s solutions for our customers,” she says. “We want people to see what the new IFF can bring with our portfolio and experiences. It really is ‘one plus one equals three.’”

At the CheeseCon trade show held earlier this month in Madison, Wisconsin, IFF spotlighted its new CHOOZIT VINTAGE, a culture designed specifically to answer U.S. and Canadian manufacturers’ need for high-quality Cheddars.

Aged Cheddar production can prove challenging, with common issues such as bitterness, gas and crystal formation, color and textural defects at times preventing manufacturers from maximizing process efficiency and improvement, cheese yield and whey quality. This makes it difficult to ensure high product standards that meet the expectations of increasingly discerning Cheddar consumers, IFF notes. In addition, when manufacturers try to differentiate their products with added functionalities, they face issues with savory flavor profiles and shelf-life qualities.

CHOOZIT VINTAGE is an easy-to-use culture that helps manufacturers overcome undesirable flavor developments such as bitterness during aging, explains Norberto Ramirez, sales leader for cultures and dairy enzymes, North America, IFF. He says the culture delivers highly reliable pH and texture results throughout the cheese ripening process.

“At the end of the day, flavor is key, and you need to avoid bitterness in the cheese,” Ramirez says. “This culture results in good yield and performance.

“Part of what makes this solution exciting is that customers can taste products that are aged nine to 12 months and compare to other products, and our products are very clean and do not have that bitterness,” he adds. “We’re bringing a solution to the customer right now for consistency of flavor.”

CHOOZIT VINTAGE is part of a high-performing starter culture range featuring seven rotations of blended mesophilic and thermophilic direct-to-vat cultures for producing high-quality, American-style Cheddar. It provides unparalleled robustness against phages for optimal lactic acid bacteria action to meet every cheesemaking need, IFF says.

Rodriguez says that as a global leader in food, beverage, health, biosciences and sensorial experiences, IFF continually innovates to do better.

She notes due to recent shifts in consumers’ perception of cheese, it has evolved from being considered “unhealthy” to being seen as a protein-forward food and a good source of calcium and other nutrients.

“People are focusing a lot on wellness and convenience as well as new experiences,” Rodriguez says. “When we talk about dairy and wellness, we look at how we may be able to reduce sugar, for example. Many of the enzymes in our portfolio address this, as well as some of our cultures.”

Ramirez adds that today’s customers are dealing with more educated consumers who now are more closely reading product labels.

“At IFF, we offer consumer-friendly label solutions,” he says. “We want the consumer to see something they understand.”

Rodriguez says other trending offerings from IFF include BONLACTA, a high-purity lactase that can hydrolyze lactose faster under refrigeration and high-temperature conditions, delivering a final product with a clean taste.
“It’s a good solution for lactose-free and sugar reduction,” she says.

Rodriguez adds IFF’s enzyme solution NURICA is the first on the market to meet both low-sugar and high-fiber needs by producing prebiotic dietary fibers. NURICA harnesses the lactose present in milk to naturally generate the highest yield of prebiotic galacto-oligosaccharides fibers in situ, resulting in significantly reduced sugar and lactose levels while bringing balanced sweetness and naturally clean milk notes.

“Health and wellness are more important to consumers than ever, and food and beverages — including dairy — are a core part of their health journeys,” she says. “Today’s consumers have placed an exceptional focus on their digestive health, including managing lactose intolerance and optimizing fiber intake, weight management and sugar/carbohydrate reduction. Until now, it has been difficult for dairy producers to accommodate all these needs while maintaining product quality and profitability.

“With NURICA, dairy manufacturers can now reduce the sugar content of plain yogurt, for example, with no impact on the fermentation process, taste or texture,” she adds.

In other developments for yogurt, IFF last year rolled out a global launch of four new cultures under its YO-MIX PRIME series for yogurt manufacturers. The new cultures joined YO-MIX PRIME 800 and 900 in helping dairy manufacturers to solve a range of major production challenges, enabling them to offer a diverse range of high-quality products to consumers.

IFF developed the first YO-MIX PRIME series to offer full acidity control, delivering products with premium texture, stable pH and consistent quality throughout their shelf life. The newer YO-MIX PRIME 801 and 802 cultures in the freeze-dried format as well as YO-MIX PRIME 830 and 840 cultures in frozen format offer consumers the ultimate mild taste experience. They also are available as part of the texture modulation toolbox, providing manufacturers the flexibility to offer a wide variety of texture to consumers.

Ramirez notes these solutions also help maintain the quality of products throughout shelf life, which can be a boost for companies that export or are looking to improve distribution channels.

To continually stay ahead of emerging trends, Rodriguez says IFF spends ample resources on understanding where the market is going.

“Our consumer insights team has developed a framework in how we are looking at new trends,” she says. “We use it to not only promote our portfolio but also look at what the industry will need in the coming years. We also invest in market research, and of course, talking with our customers. Understanding the market is very important and it’s how we are positioning our portfolio to continue to offer innovations.”

Rodriguez adds IFF currently sees demand in four key areas: health and wellness; sustainability and transparency; affordability and convenience; and sensorial experiences.

“Consumers today are not just eating something — they want an experience,” she says.


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