New Zealand’s largest dairy cooperative Fonterra and Dairy Management Inc (DMI), representing the US’ major dairy producers, have agreed to jointly fund research into whey protein and body composition.

Whey, a watery liquid byproduct of cheese production, is concentrated and dried to produce milk solids commonly used in the manufacture of foods. US DMI-funded research will focus on the overall adult population and body composition, while Fonterra’s efforts will focus on sports nutrition and body composition. The results of the research will be jointly shared. The work will lay the framework for substantiating future health claims for marketing whey protein. 

“The agreement with DMI leverages our mutual resources to advance the nutritional value of dairy proteins and enhance the image of dairy products and ingredients worldwide,” Fonterra director innovation Bob Major said.

DMI chief executive officer Tom Gallagher said the agreement is a new approach to funding research: “This pre-competitive agreement between America’s dairy producers and Fonterra creates a new approach to funding science that can lead the dairy industry to increased sales by showing dairy’s competitive advantage over other protein-based products.”