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For lactose intolerant or health-conscious consumers, finding the right dairy products can be a tedious task. Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk products and can trigger digestive distress with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
As such, dairy food manufacturers are increasingly producing lactose-free milk as an alternative to help eliminate unpleasant symptoms. In Indonesia, total dairy consumption was nearly four billion liters in 2017 and continues to see rising demand by consumers looking for healthier dairy products.
Diabetes is another issue facing Indonesians as the percentage of the population with type two diabetes has doubled in the past 30 years. Now, an estimated 16 million Indonesian adults live with the disease and it is predicted that by 2030, this type of non-communicable disease will cost the country an estimated USD 2.8 trillion – nearly three times Indonesia’s 2017 GDP, according to the World Economic Forum.
To address this growing concern, here are some key ingredients I believe manufacturers should focus on to produce healthier dairy products for the Indonesia market.
Dairy makers of milk, yogurt and cheese products need to make sure to test the residue level of antibiotics in raw milk with reliable test kits. Contamination of antibiotics in milk will impact human resistance to medicines. Dairy manufacturers need to ensure that the test kit can detect a broad spectrum of antibiotic residues in milk from various sources including cow, sheep, goat and buffalo with detection levels closest to maximum or safe tolerance residue levels.
Next is to use only the best enzyme to break down lactose in milk. For example, a Maxilact enzyme reduces sugar by 10 to 20 percent. Maxilact breaks down the lactose into galactose and glucose in milk for low sugar or lactose-free products.
The added sugar level can be further reduced by using a natural sweetener like Stevia. Stevia is derived from leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia has zero calories and allows you to achieve up to 50 percent reduction of sugar content.
Yogurt production requires the adding of probiotics and cultures to increase the number of good bacteria and make the yogurt probiotic positive. Using high-quality ambient culture strains and aceptic technology, yogurts can be stored at room temperature and can match the benefits of “refridgable” yogurt. Ambient yogurt not only has a pleasant taste and a smooth creamy texture but is also shelf-stable and helps manufacturers to overcome logistics and cold storage limitations when transported over long distances.
To make the flavors of dairy milk and yogurt products that will suit the taste buds of Indonesian consumers, a natural fruit concentrate may be used. The two options to use are juice concentrate for liquidly and ready-to-drink milk or condensed puree with a refined texture from fruits.
Natural preservatives like Nisin are label-friendly and powerful in small doses, extending product shelf life. Sodium Casienate, a multi-functional emulsifier and pure milk protein obtained by combining extracted casein with a sodium compound, is also a great option to improve the quality of cheese products.
Choosing the right suppliers for food ingredients and additives is key. But companies must also work with an established distributor with the proven market knowledge and regulatory competencies. A business partner like DKSH understands the interconnected procedures for the import of dairy products between different regulatory agencies like the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Trade and Indonesia’s National Agency of Drug and Food Control.
With the Indonesian government expected to announce a new ruling to impose mandatory import duties of up to 20 percent on products or ingredients derived from animals, companies need to understand the complex nature of food import regulations and ensure that their products comply with all the applicable market regulations.
What is your view on this market? Do let me know if you think there are other considerations for food ingredient importers and manufacturers in Indonesia.
Ranti Endriani is based in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is currently Manager, Local Business Line, Food & Beverage Industry at DKSH Indonesia.