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Danisco keeps eye on mass culture developments

By Neil Merrett , 09-Apr-2009
Last updated on 10-Apr-2009 at 09:21 GMT

Danisco says it will move ahead with research into more cost effective dehydration of cultures and probiotic products as part of a new collaboration to test if commercial development of such systems may be feasible.

The supplier said it has been working with research partner EnWave, which manufactures new drying technologies, on developing a high speed, continuous dehydration method for processing cultured products used for applications such as dairy formulation.

Egon Hansen, vice president of Danisco’s research and development cultures division, told DairyReporter.com that although the company was not yet committed to adapting the technology to its operations, it was moving ahead with research for freeze drying alternatives.

Hansen said that this new second phase of devlopment would look not just at providing a means of cost effective processing, but also meeting the group's own quality requirements for powder.

Development needs

As part of the collaboration, Danisco said it had expressed certain requirements from EnWave in regards to the development of the new powderREV system, which uses a Radiant Energy Vacuum (REV) process to create powders.

Working with Danisco, the manufacturer had conducted preliminary tests on the device as part of development of a system that it hopes can convert liquid streams of biological materials into powder of a comparable quality to freeze dried products.

Hansen said that although it was encouraged by the initial tests, there was still a long way to go to ensure that the microwave-based process could be viable on a commercial basis, with cost just one of the challenges facing the development.

Project aims

With Danisco supplying and shipping cultures and probiotics worldwide, the company said that ensuring its products could survive the powderREV process and remain stable afterwards was another important development.

With the second research phase expected to be completed by mid-2010, Danisco said it was also looking at issues of flowability within the process.

As part of the Danisco’s deal with EnWave, the company has exclusivity with any developments for a ‘limited’ period.

Tim Durance, chairman and joint chief executive officer for EnWave, said that entering a partnerships with a large manufacturer had allowed it to pursue wider opportunities in culture production.

“We intend to build on the success of the phase one tests and look forward to exploring future collaboration opportunities with Danisco," he stated.