Innovations underway to accelerate dairy production in Asia-Pacific

International companies are introducing cutting-edge technologies to optimise production in a cost-effective way. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

The Asia-Pacific dairy market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.12% from 2020-2025, according to the market research firm Mordor Intelligence. China is the most significant market and India and Indonesia are the fastest-growing markets in the region, says the report

Dairy farming has mostly seen an upward trend in Asia with disruptors across different markets levelling up in terms of production and distribution. Any industry with rising consumer statistics is always doted to make inroads into other challenging markets. Dairy is certainly one of them, and also constantly stands trial when it comes to ‘carbon footprint’ and emission standards. According to the Bulletin by the International Dairy Federation, dairy farming contributes to more than 80% of the environmental impact for milk. 

Companies are always looking to innovate through their way to reduce their contribution to global pollution. Yili, a dairy company from the Hohhot city of Northern China, ranks among the ‘Global Dairy Top 5’. Yili has recently announced a partnership with agri-foodtech accelerator StartLife in the Netherlands. Through this collaboration, Yili aims to find its way into the ecosystem agri-foodtech startups which are always known to inflame innovations. 

The partnerships formed by the programme are expected to develop ideas and reforms to further boost the industry, both in Europe and in China. The ‘Yili Innovation Center Europe’ set up on the campus of Wageningen University is ideally located in the ‘Food Valley’ in the Netherlands and is being dubbed ‘strategically smart’ for these reasons. Yili has made its way into the South East Asian market with its brand ‘Cremo’ that is available across Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Laos

Dairy logistics is another key area. The Netherlands-based Milkways has unveiled a patented technology that is set to transform the way of traditional milk production. The technology focuses on transporting large volumes of fresh milk in a safe way over long distances, ensuring high-quality dairy milk. Production is kept in the optimal region, with a low CO2 footprint and competitive price. The strategy revolves around conducting production in areas with a suitable climate and abundant husbandry and cattle feed resources. This keeps production costs within a competitive price with the lowest possible CO2 emissions.

Imagindairy, an Israeli start-up, is milking new technology to leave the cow out of the dairy equation. The company is creating true milk proteins that are indistinguishable from the real thing via a natural process of precision fermentation.

Imagindairy’s proprietary technology recreates nature-identical, animal-free versions of whey and casein proteins that can be used to produce dairy analogs. This opens new opportunities to develop a full range of non-dairy products that perfectly mimic dairy versions yet contain no cholesterol, or GMO’s. They also are lactose-free, serving consumers with lactose intolerance or sensitivity. At the same time, the proprietary technology radically lowers the burden of dairy livestock on the environment. 

Eyal Afergan, PhD, co-founder and CEO of Imagindairy, explained, “Our microflora-based production method was inspired by nature to recreate these proteins.” The unique protein structure of dairy milk is what provides its characteristic texture, flavour, and nutritional value. Whey is a key source of highly biologically available protein. Imagindairy’s animal-free dairy products boast the same complement of nutrients, from protein content to mineral composition, including calcium. 

Asia-Pacific dairy market to see robust growth

The Asia-Pacific dairy market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 3.12% from 2020- 2025, according to the market research firm Mordor Intelligence. The report further added that the rising demand for western dairy products as natural snacks, fermented dairy products, such as yogurt, sour milk, etc, and product and packaging innovation is driving the dairy market growth. China is the most significant market for dairy, primarily driven by the increased consumption of dairy products. India and Indonesia are the fastest growing markets in the region driven by increased population. In a recent development, Dr R S Sodhi, managing director of India’s Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (AMUL), has received the prestigious Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organization (APO) award. The award is a representation of the unique farmer to factory model practiced in India.