With the new pilot plant in Niebüll in Germany, Danisco is accelerating the development of starter cultures to the dairy industry and other food industry customers.

Nearly three years ago Danisco acquired Wisby, which is a producer of starter cultures and culture media. Today, Danisco is in the world´s top four in dairy cultures and has particularly strong expertise in fermentation, i.e. growing cultures in fluid nutrient media.

'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. The development process will be faster and we'll be able to develop even better products.'

Cultures for yoghurt and cheese
The plant has added considerable capacity expansion at Niebüll and will enable Danisco to market new cultures faster.

Jytte Mollerup Andersen:
'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.'

Increasing stability and higher yield
Not only will the development process be speeded up, but the plant's numerous measuring and control devices also provide Danisco's development people with deeper insight into the keeping quality of dairy cultures. This is an important competitive parameter as customers seek to be able to manufacture products with extended shelf-life.

´Thanks to the new plant in Niebüll we've succeeded in producing cultures that can ferment the milk faster, which is also a key parameter to our customers as they can reduce the yoghurt and cheese production time, explains Jytte Mollerup Andersen.

Also to the meat and fish industry
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.