Chr. Hansen has launched culture strains that produce a ‘rich and complex flavour’ to meet the growing demand of Feta-style cheese.

Chr. Hansen is a global bioscience company, which develops natural solutions for food, nutritional, pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.

The company’s Dvs White Flora is made using two types of bacteria (Lactococcus lactics subsp. Cremoris and Lactococcus lactic subsp. Lactis.). The strains used in the new culture system are selected from 30,000 strains to ensure performance.

Dvs White Flora produces white, brained, Feta-style cheese with the same controlled acidification and same tolerance to salt and temperature but a richer flavour profile.

Chr. Hansen’s cultures and enzymes for cheese commercial development manager Jens Skytte Soerensen said: “Other cultures do not necessarily lack flavours. However, consumers like to have different taste experiences and cheese manufacturers do need to differentiate their products. Nobody would like a world where every cheese tastes the same.”

Soerensen said that the rich flavour of cheese produced with Dvs White Flora secures a rich flavour, which comes from the ‘unique degradation of protein and amino-compounds’.

“They are mesophilic bacteria, which means that they thrive at medium temperatures. These types of strains are widely available and used across a wide range of cheese categories.

“But what is unique about the Dvs White Flora range is their formulation. Each culture system in the product series contains not only two types of bacteria but a complex composition of more than 20 strains, known as phenotypes.”

According to ‘marketing mapping’ from Chr. Hansen, which is performed every year, Feta-style cheese is the fourth biggest cheese category in the world, and a fastest growing with an average 5% annual growth in both emerging and developed economies.

Soerensen added: Growth in the emerging countries is driven by population growth, urbanisation and also increased investments. Growth in mature economies is driven by consumers’ desire for healthy salads and in hot cooking, where white cheese provides a source of both healthy protein, new taste experiences and even an alternative to meat.”

While the Dvs White Flora assists in the production of Feta-style cheese, Soerensen could not ‘give any guarantees’ on whether the cultures could speed up the manufacturing process.

“What we can say is that we have formulated this culture series to be somewhat faster than previous similar types of cultures.”

The cultures have been tested by Chr. Hansen in cow’s milk (both standard milk and cow’s milk that has been concentrated by ultrafiltration), the company said it had ‘no reason to believe’ the cultures would not also work with sheep and goat’s milk.

Feta cheese is under protected designated origin (PDO) status in Europe, which means only cheese produced in Greece using a blend of sheep and goat’s milk and to strict criteria can use the name.