Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Davisco Foods International – Meeting the Nutrition Needs of the 21st Century

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Davisco Foods International – Meeting the Nutrition Needs of the 21st Century

Davisco Foods International – Meeting the Nutrition Needs of the 21st Century
August 05
09:56 2014
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US-based Davisco Foods International specialises in producing innovative dairy proteins for health and nutrition. The company is a pioneer in whey protein isolate research, and is the largest and most experienced manufacturer of Ion Exchange whey protein products in the world. Davisco produces over 10 million pounds of whey protein isolates annually, accounting for 65% of whey protein isolates sold worldwide.

Whey protein isolates are found in 50% of grocery products today, including sports drinks, reduced fat confectionery, low-fat salad dressings, infant formula, yogurts, dips, shelf-stable baking mixes, and low fat cheese sauces.

Operating from five dairy processing plants (cheese, whey and other dairy-based food ingredients) in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Idaho, Davisco has developed an extensive international presence, with sales offices located in USA, Switzerland, China, and Singapore, and the company exports products to 60 countries worldwide. Davisco processes 6.3 million litres of milk a day into cheese and whey products and has a turnover of about $1 billion. Established in 1943 by Stanley Davis, Davisco is still a privately owned family business and is currently managed by chief executive Jon Davis, the grandson of the founder.

Comprehensive Product Range

Davisco produces a comprehensive range of whey protein products including lactose, whey permeate, whey protein concentrates, whey protein isolate, whey protein hydrolysate, and whey protein fractions, such as its recently launched Alpha-lactalbumin.

Polly Olson – VP, Business Development, Sales, and Marketing at Davisco Foods International.

“Davisco is committed to providing cutting edge dairy solutions to meet the nutrition needs of the 21st century. We are dedicated in the development of sophisticated technology for manufacturing highly valuable whey derivatives to add more value to the milk stream,” says Polly Olson, VP, Business Development, Sales, and Marketing at Davisco Foods International. “We offer the purest and highest quality whey protein ingredients on the market and provide world class technical services to our customers.”

Indeed, Davisco has earned a reputation for being highly innovative, market driven and dedicated to addressing the ever-changing needs of the evolving marketplace and the product demands of its growing customer base.

Health and Wellness

Infant nutrition is currently Davisco’s largest market sector. However, as the demand for protein goes main stream, the company’s customer base is also broadening in accordance with changing market demands as consumers become increasingly concerned about health and wellness, and the global population of people aged 60 and older continues to grow.

“Aging is commonly associated with comorbidities including sarcopenia (losing lean muscle mass, strength, and function) and osteoporosis,” points out Phanin Leksrisompong, Ph.D., Director of Business Development. “Davisco’s ingredients are among the highest natural food sources of leucine, a metabolic trigger for muscle protein synthesis. Increasing dietary protein that is high in leucine can improve body composition with increased muscle and reduced fat, and can minimize common musculoskeletal health problems observed in older adults. New research about the importance of skeletal muscle in treatment or prevention of obesity, comorbidities and age-related problems have led to a re-thinking about the role of dietary protein in adult health.”

Functional and Nutritional Benefits

According to Davisco, its proprietary ion-exchange technology yields whey proteins with the highest quality and purity on the market which results in both functional and nutritional benefits for consumers.

Phanin Leksrisompong explains: “Ion-exchange technology results in protein that has low degree of denaturation resulting in highly functional protein. In addition, ion-exchange technology yields whey protein with lower non-protein nitrogen levels, and minimal glycomacropeptide content which means greater protein impact with lower levels needed to achieve optimum health. It also produces whey proteins with low mineral content which makes it the ideal protein source for people suffering from kidney disease. Lastly, ion-exchange yields the cleanest flavoured whey proteins. The addition of a whey protein ingredient should improve nutritional and functional benefits of your product without imparting off-flavour.”


Davisco recently launched Alpha-lactalbumin, which was a finalist in the innovative ingredient category at the 8th Global Dairy Congress Innovation Awards. Davisco’s Alpha-lactalbumin uses new technical advancements developed by Davisco to precisely isolate α-lactalbumin in a full scale commercial production facility.

Alpha-lactalbumin has unique characteristics:

* Highly homologous to human alpha-lactalbumin;

* Calcium-binding – may have a role in calcium transport and delivery;

* Relatively heat-stable – can be used at high levels as a complete source of protein in many special medical foods;

* Uniquely high in these amino acids – Tryptophan, a precursor serotonin and melatonin; Leucine, the trigger for muscle protein synthesis; Cysteine, a glutathione precursor;

* High protein quality – a complete amino acid profile with high digestibility;

* Fully soluble across a broad pH range;

* A clean, neutral taste;

* Lactose-free;

* Fat-free;

* Low in minerals.

Alpha-lactalbumin has a broad range of applications including: nutritional and dietary supplements, early nutrition: prenatal nutrition and infant formula, protein-fortified beverages, lactose-free and reduced carbohydrate/fat/calorie foods, dry mixes, nutrition bars and medical foods (eg renal nutrition foods).

Infant Nutrition

Alpha-lactalbumin is particularly suited to infant nutrition. “The purity of Davisco’s Alpha-lactalbumin allows manufacturers to produce infant formulas that mimic the profile of breast milk,” Phanin Leksrisompong says.

Phanin Leksrisompong Ph.D, Director of Business Development at Davisco.

The amino acid composition is a critical factor for infant nutrition. All essential amino acids must be present in the diet in the appropriate proportions in order for protein synthesis to proceed at optimal rates.

“Of particular concern, the levels of tryptophan and cysteine in bovine milk are approximately half of those found in human milk. As such, the protein content in standard infant formula is higher than that of human milk in order to provide sufficient levels of essential amino acids,” she points out.

Phanin Leksrisompong elaborates: “Research has shown that infants fed high-protein formulas put on weight more quickly than those fed breast milk, and growth rates more rapid than breast-feeding are a risk factor for obesity. Metabolic programming during infancy can cause infants to become overweight and make them more susceptible to excessive weight gain later in life. Formulating infant formula with Alpha-lactalbumin to maintain similar protein levels as human milk also results in gastrointestinal tolerance. Davisco’s Alpha-lactalbumin is high in both tryptophan and cysteine, making it much easier to formulate to levels close to that in human milk and achieve both optimum amino acid and total protein levels.”

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