Danish ingredients company Danisco is accelerating the development of starter cultures to the dairy industry and other food industry customers with the opening of a new pilot plant in Niebüll in Germany. "Earlier this year we commissioned a new state-of-the-art pilot plant, designed to strengthen our fermentation technology," explains Innovation Director Jytte Mollerup Andersen. "We're achieving considerable optimisation of the process while at the same time we're extending our knowledge on cultures and achieving greater flexibility in the development process. This process will be faster and we will be able to develop even better products,' he continued. In a recent statement Danisco stated that the plant has added considerable capacity expansion at Niebüll and will enable Danisco to market new cultures faster. "We're developing cultures for various product segments such as yoghurt and cheese cultures. Yoghurt consists of milk and cultures with the cultures regulating consistency and taste properties, etc. We need to constantly develop new cultures with new properties because innovations are in demand by the market, but also because bacteriophage (virus) can attack and destroy the existing cultures, which then have to be replaced by new ones," Anderson stated. Cultures are grown in 300-litre containers in the new pilot plant. In the production process, cultures are grown in 900-15,000-litre containers over 24-48 hours. The final product has a fluid form but is sold in frozen or freeze-dried condition to customers in the dairy, meat and fish industries.