Fonterra mascarpone cheese set for Japan
The recently commissioned mascarpone line is located at the New Zealand dairy cooperative’s Te Rapa site.
Project manager Shane van den Hurk said it is a different cheese to the mascarpone most people, especially those accustomed to the product in New Zealand, will be familiar with.
“The mascarpone you find in most supermarket chillers is made to be balanced – slightly sweet, a bit creamy, but with a relatively low fat content so it’s good for ready-to-eat consumption,” van den Hurk said.
“When used as an ingredient, a high quality mascarpone should have much more depth of flavor; it should be richer, sweeter and with a higher percentage of natural dairy fats.”
Growing market for dairy
Japan is a growing market for dairy consumption, in particular ice cream, which has traditionally been considered a treat for children only.
The NZ $5m ($3.65m) mascarpone project was created without building a dedicated new plant, van den Hurk said.
He noted that existing technology was being used to switch the frozen cream line – where there is capacity available – over to mascarpone quickly and easily.
“Much of that milk was previously turned into commodity products such as anhydrous milk fat, so it’s a win-win that we’re about to add significantly more value to our farmers’ milk for a small investment.”