Crops major Cargill says it has launched a breakthrough innovation that enables the cost-effective production of a 100-per cent non-dairy cheese analogue for pizzas and other prepared food dishes.
The lygomme ACH optimum functional system replicates the functionality of dairy protein and replaces it fully with a cost advantage for the manufacturer.
Fabien Bouron, senior dairy applications specialist at Cargill Texturising Solutions, said, "Cheese represents approximately 15 per cent of a pizza recipe and given its high and fluctuating price, it can have a significant impact on the cost of frozen pizza production. In order to protect their margins, manufacturers have traditionally had to choose between raising pizza prices, limiting portion sizes, or using a blend of different cheeses depending on their current market value."
The new process removes this instability by offering manufacturers a cheaper cheese alternative for pizza which can be used to completely replace highly volatile dairy proteins. Furthermore, its appearance, taste and texture match those of processed cheese based on dairy proteins and are similar to those of traditional hard cheeses, such as gouda, cheddar or gruyere.
The new cheese is made of ingredients that remove price fluctuations and provides up to 60 per cent cost reduction compared with a standard analogue cheese (which on average contains 15 per cent dairy proteins) and over 200 per cent when compared with traditional cheeses such as mozzarella or emmental.
The new cheese provides the same key physical and rheological properties as those of analogue pizza cheeses: taste, firmness, appearance, shreadability and melting behaviour.