Today (3 April) marks the launch of Chr. Hansen’s third generation of CHY-MAX fermentation produced chymosin (FPC) range of coagulants, the CHY-MAX Supreme.
The enzyme enables cheesemakers to produce more milk and cheese in less time, without comprising on functionality. Intended for use in bovine cheeses, such as cheddar, continental and mozzarella, the offering can also be applied to buffalo or sheep milk for cheese production.
According to the ingredients supplier, the enzyme is the most precise and innovative coagulant on the market, allowing for a significant yield increase of up to 1%.
“All cheese producers are looking to create more value out of the milk they have available, and the more of the milk you turn into cheese, the better,” Chr. Hansen EVP of EMEA & North America Jacob Vishof Paulsen told FoodNavigator when we visited company headquarters in Copenhagen last month.
As “it’s not every day that something radical happens to the cheese industry,” an enzyme that helps producers increase yield by up to 1% makes it the ‘Formula One’ of enzymes, he continued. “A 1% yield when you are stressed on financials, that’s a big thing.”
“A one percent yield increase of global cheese production means more than 220 million kg more cheese without more milk to the vats. That is enough to satisfy the yearly cheese consumption of 15 million American consumers”
Where does the 1% increase come from?
To develop CHY-MAX Supreme, Chr. Hansen increased the specificity of its CHY-MAX M enzyme to more precisely cut milk protein.
“By cutting the protein, you create a web of the milk components that retain the fat globules and make sure they don’t wash away into the whey,” explained Chr. Hansen’s VP of commercial development, Soeren Herskind.
“So the [increased] yield comes from leaving more fat in the cheese, but a bit of it comes from the protein – because you don’t cut that into small parts,” he continued, stressing that, “it is real yield. It’s not moisture, or water or hot air.”
“It’s a game changer,” Herskind told this publication. “There is nothing on par with this.”
Functionality in the convenience age
Importantly, the increase in yield does not impact on other functionalities in the cheese.
This is significant as cheese trends, which are increasingly skewed towards the convenience market, demand cheese be cut into cubes, sliced or grated.
“More and more we are seeing consumers wanting sliced or shredded cheese,” Vishof Paulsen told this publication, adding that a “firmness” in the cheese is required to cater to this growing trend – both in foodservice and in the home.
“If the cheese doesn’t have the right firmness when you start slicing, you can have a lot of waste,” he explained. “But with this enzyme, you can slice a little thinner, a little sharper.”
For producers, CHY-MAX Supreme helps make good, affordable cheese, fast, added Herskind. “For the consumers, it’s about taste and convenience. And cheesemakers don’t need to compromise to offer that.”
FoodNavigator asked Chr. Hansen if CHY-MAX Supreme will cost cheesemakers more than earlier offerings in the CHY-MAX range. “We claim that the yield benefit is so high, the cost of the enzyme pays for itself completely,” responded Vishof Paulsen.
Herskind confirmed Chr. Hansen will be “asking for a bit more, compared to the previous version,” adding the firm is taking “a fair share, but we will be pushed by our customers to justify the price of the product. We don’t find it unbalanced.
“It is a game changer, this one. Small changes, for big differences.”
Making more with less for increased sustainability
The latest offering goes hand in hand with the firm’s focus on sustainability. Chr. Hansen was ranked the most sustainable company in the world by media and research firm Corporate Knights in January this year.
According to Chr. Hansens’ head of sustainability, Annemarie Meisling, the launch – which enables cheesemakers to ‘make more with less’ – comes as sustainability ascends the corporate agenda.
“A lot of our customers are making big commitments on sustainability, and also using the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” she told us.
“It’s the right time for CHY-MAX Supreme. Our customers are on the same journey…what we are focusing on now is how we can work with our customers to help them reach their targets,” she continued.
Chr. Hansen releases interim 2018/19 financials
In other Chr. Hansen news, the firm has released its 2018/19 interim report for the period 1 September 2018 – 21 February 2019.
The firm experienced organic revenue growth of 9%, with total revenue to date for 2018/19 standing at €553.2m.
Food Cultures & Enzymes (FC&E), which stands for 59% of the company’s total revenue, experienced organic growth of 6% - after currency impact adjustment.
According to the firm, growth was driven by existing segments within fermented milk, cheese and meat, with EMEA being the strongest growing region.
“We continued the solid momentum, with Food Cultures & Enzymes delivering strong organic growth with an increasing contribution from volume in Q2, which was in line with our expectations,” said CEO Mauricio Graber.
“Our EBIT margin before special items in the first half of the year increased by 0.8%-point and was driven by improved margins in all business areas. In FC&E, we achieved a gross margin benefit of more than 1%-point from the ramp up of the new capacity in our facility in Copenhagen, which more than offsets the increasing investments we are making in the business.”