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Have an idea for a new product? Or need help getting a dairy ingredient or recipe to function correctly? The Center for Dairy Research (CDR) can help. CDR’s Dairy Ingredients and Functionality group offers a fee-for-service option that connects companies with the Center’s expert staff and facilities to help research and develop products or ingredients.

CDR’s Dairy Ingredients, Beverages & Cultured Products Coordinator KJ Burrington and Associate Researcher Susan Larson, Ph.D have helped numerous companies develop new products, test ingredient functionality and/or troubleshoot.

The fee-for-service option is flexible–Burrington and Larson work with companies to meet them where they are in the product development process. CDR can help companies develop a product from the ground up, assist with the final steps of commercialization or anything in between.

Ingredient Functionality

There are three different types of projects that CDR primarily helps clients with–ingredient functionality, applications, and troubleshooting. In the ingredient functionality area, CDR researchers can measure the performance of dairy ingredients and help companies that manufacture the ingredients to understand their functional characteristics.

The Center can test for a number of characteristics such as heat stability, water-holding capacity, foaming, emulsification, gel strength, hydration characteristics, and more. Over the years, researchers at CDR have developed methods for testing the performance attributes of just about any dairy ingredient. For example, CDR has used the information from milk protein and whey protein ingredient hydration characteristics to help optimize the performance of these dairy ingredients when used in beverages and yogurts. CDR also uses their functionality methods as a benchmarking tool to help select and recommend the type of dairy ingredient that best fits a specific food application.

Applications

The Dairy Ingredients and Functionality group can also help clients use dairy products in a variety of applications, such as beverages, drink mixes, yogurts, bars, baked goods, confections, soups, and sauces. The staff at CDR provides a strong base of knowledge in the use of milk and whey protein ingredients, as well as non-protein ingredients such as permeate in all types of applications. This is an area that is continually changing and developing not only at CDR but in products across the world. For instance, CDR can help companies use permeate to reduce sodium in a product or add whey protein ingredients to boost the protein content.

The Center can also help companies use dairy ingredients to develop better texture, retain moisture or improve a product’s ability to gel or hold water. Burrington and Larson have also helped companies develop recipes that are organic and/or feature a “clean label” (no preservatives or artificial colors or flavors).

In addition to helping companies develop new products for the retail market, CDR staff can also help clients develop products for special events such as trade shows. Perhaps you want to showcase how your product, such as milk protein concentrate, can be used in a variety of applications. The Center can help develop and produce bars, beverages or other applications to highlight how your ingredient can add value to a product.

“The staff at CDR provides a strong base of knowledge in the use of milk and whey protein ingredients, as well as non-protein ingredients such as permeate in all types of applications.”

Troubleshooting

Not every company has a research and development team and, even if it does, a second set of eyes can be helpful. For instance, CDR can help ingredient manufacturers resolve an issue one of their consumers might have with their ingredient. Or, CDR can work with food manufacturers to improve an ingredient’s performance.

Work with CDR

Additionally, the work that CDR does for its clients stays the property of the company. Staff can also offer a confidentiality agreement to companies, if needed.

“We’ve enjoyed working with a variety of companies on a number of different products,” Larson said. “It’s really rewarding work and we always look forward to working with new clients and to continue to move the industry forward.”

For more information on working with CDR on dairy ingredients, contact KJ Burrington.