Cheese remains the Company’s core business and the sector where it continues to lead, accounting for over 34% of Company turnover. Lactalis values and respects the unique heritage of each product in its own right, and always promotes the notion of “terroir” and local tradition.
Since 1933, Group Lactalis has contributed to promoting the French know how and gastronomy beyond its borders by exporting its cheeses and, in particular, the Président® brand, which is today sold in 160 countries.
Lactalis is also the biggest manufacturer of AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlee) cheeses in the World.
There are many different varieties of milk available for consumption within the UK. These can be broken down into milk source such as cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or other non-dairy alternatives.
Milk can also be classified according to its fat content (whole milk, semi-skimmed milk, skimmed milk) or whether it is conventional or organic.
In the UK Lactalis operates in the butter market with its two brands President® and Rachel’s® Organic.
Whey powder can be used as a substitute for skimmed milk powder; it is used extensively in the bakery and biscuit business and as a staple for animal feed.
To produce whey powder we take the whey (6% total solids 94% water) and initially evaporate off the water so that the solids are 60% i.e. a 10x concentration.
We then ‘seed’ the whey concentrate with powder produced from a previous batch. This allows the lactose to change from a sticky version to a non-sticky version. This process takes 6-10 hours and is known as ‘crystallisation’
The concentrate is then fed into a big tower full of hot air and sprayed into fine droplets, the water evaporates very quickly and the whey solids dry into a powder.
Finally the powder is passed over a fluid bed to ‘condition’ it to the exact moisture required.