Arla eyes supplies to infant formula manufacturers

Arla eyes supplies to infant formula manufacturers

Dairy giant Arla Foods has opened a lactose factory in Denmark to supply what the co-op called a "vibrant" infant nutrition market.

The EUR120m (US$149.9m) facility in Jutland will see "premium dry-blend lactose", Arla said, an ingredient it claimed helps infant formula manufacturers up their output "dramatically".

"Our new lactose factory in Jutland is part of our drive to keep pace with growth in demand for high quality lactose in the infant nutrition sector," sales director Luis Cubel said.

The Lurpak butter and Castello cheese owner is making a series of investments in its ingredients business. In September, Arla's ingredients arm also announced plans to build a factory in Denmark to produce whey protein hydrolysates, ingredients used in products for infants with allergies and in sports nutrition lines.

The moves are examples of how major dairy processors are looking to expand in the ingredients sector.

In July, UK group Dairy Crest said it would team up with local peer Fayrefield Foods and with Fonterra to produce and supply ingredients to infant formula manufacturers.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with just-food, Finland-based dairy group Valio said lactose-free ingredients are a "big hope" for the business.