The Qiulin Co based in Yunhai, Inner Mongolia, is the first dairy company in China to receive organic certification for its drinking milk. According to Qiulin's general manager, Li Yuanzhen, the company is targeting production of 300 tonnes of organic milk per day by 2008. Rumour has it that the relatively high number of 'organic' or 'green' (ecologically grown) produce in this part of China is actually due to the low level of industrialisation. With no polluting industry in the vicinity, it is much easier to grow organic fruit and vegetables. In this way, the additional income derived from organic food makes up for the lack of income from industrial products in this region.
Probiotic dairy growing
Industry estimates show that only five per cent of the yoghurt currently available in China is enriched with probiotic cultures. However, it is believed that this share will reach the level of Western countries five years from now. Most international suppliers of cultures are already fighting for market share in China.
Herb extracts on the rise
According to statistics published by the China Chamber of Commerce of Medicines and Health Products Import and Export, Chinese exports of herbal extracts during the first half of 2005 showed a value increase of more than a 41 per cent over the same period of 2004. Preliminary statistics show that the situation during the second half of 2005 was even better. This was partly due to the outbreak of the avian flu, which stimulated the demand for certain extracts as feed additives.
DSM invests in flavours plant
DSM has developed a new way to produce processed flavours. The company is investing in a new plant that will be using new semi-continuous technology developed in co-operation between DSM's technology engineers and food technologists.
The new technology creates the opportunity, not only to produce DSM's existing Maxavor line of roasted products, but also new types with milder notes. Apart from product range extension, the new technology also increases quality consistency as well as product and food safety.
The new facility is being built on the existing fully owned DSM nutrition production site in Xinghuo, Shanghai, and highlights the company's commitment to its Savory Ingredients business and recognition of the growing importance of the Asian, especially the Chinese, food ingredients market. The new plant will double the company's production capacity of process flavours.
Construction on the new facility began in March 2006 and initial production is scheduled to begin in late 2006, with the plant becoming fully operational by April 2007.
An eye on health ingredients
Export opportunities for a number of health ingredients believed to be beneficial to the eye functions are seen to be increasingly interesting. They include blueberry juice, chlorophyll, ginkgo extract, black soybean extract, black currant juice and bee gum.
Datai Biotechnology Co has launched a new type of savoury ingredient derived from edible fungus. It is said to be a more healthy replacement of MSG, and purports to have a greater nutritional value than chicken essence, which is currently promoted in China as a healthier alternative to MSG.
The edible fungus suits the criteria for a 'natural ingredient' and seems to be conceived on the basis of chicken essence, which is enjoying increasing attention as a replacement for MSG.
A new production line for soybean peptides, at the Shansong Biological Products Co in Shandong, has started production. The construction of the line, using technology developed in-house by Shansong, started at the end of 2004.