Getting more from your milk: value-added dairy – Westland Milk Products
Jan 27

Getting more from your milk: value-added dairy – Westland Milk Products

New Zealand is already world famous for delivering high quality dairy products across the world, but what if we could add even more value to those products? The development capabilities of NZFIN are helping some clever cookies do just that.

Not long after opening in 2015, FoodSouth recognised the need to provide development capabilities to large dairy multinationals seeking to move away from commodity products into value-added consumer and foodservice offerings.

With Ultra-Heat Treatment (UHT) able to significantly extend the shelf life of a range of foods including dairy and fruit drinks and yoghurts, its capabilities are a critical ingredient in value-added dairy products. So, to ensure a seamless scale-up for its clients, FoodSouth’s UHT facility was commissioned in May 2016.

Yili-owned Westland Milk Products (Westland) was one of several cornerstone clients, using the FoodSouth UHT to support training and commissioning of their $40m UHT plant in Rolleston in 2016.

Planning for the first projects utilising the new plant began immediately and FoodSouth was able to quickly turn around trials to speed development of a UHT whipping cream for Westland’s global foodservice market in June 2016. The launch was a success and saw Westgold UHT cream volumes increase 450% year-on-year.

FoodSouth and Westland have enjoyed a close working relationship and FoodSouth have continued to support Westland as their value-add products have evolved. A more recent two-year, cross-cultural research and development project has succeeded in harnessing the natural grass-fed goodness of milk from New Zealand’s remote West Coast into a product suitable for discerning Chinese bakers. The new product, Yili Pro UHT Whipping Cream, was launched in October 2021 and has received excellent reviews.

FoodSouth’s investment in UHT equipment continues to help food & beverage companies to develop tailored products that tap into emerging market opportunities and grow their business. This close link between NZFIN and the NZ food and beverage industry continues to allow industry needs to be met through collaboration and consultation, resulting in considerable benefits for the wider New Zealand F&B community.