Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre has developed a new white butter product to meet growing demand from manufacturers in the Middle East market.

The New Zealand dairy co-op developed the product alongside its global ingredients business NZMP.

Fonterra’s butter is renowned amongst Middle East consumers for its golden appearance thanks to milk from grass fed cows.

However, a niche segment of manufacturers prefer white butter as a processing ingredient for their food products.

These Middle Eastern food manufacturers have traditionally sourced butter from grain fed cows which produce dairy products with a pale colour, according to Fonterra.

The co-op seized an opportunity to respond to customer needs by developing a high quality white butter ingredient, Fonterra’s Dairy Foods Category Director of NZMP, Casey Thomas said.

Produced through an innovative manufacturing process, Fonterra is now able to reduce the golden appearance of the butter without impacting its quality.

“While our yellow butter already sees great success in this market, we saw an opportunity to tap into this new area for customers to use in a variety of applications such as spreadable jar cheese, recombined cream cheese, and could soon be used in ice cream,” he said.

This innovative approach is already seeing strong results, NZMP General Manager of Middle East and Africa, Santiago Aon said.

Our customers have had positive feedback about the white butter, it is performing to our expectations as a high quality ingredient for food businesses across the Middle East region.

The Fonterra Research and Development Centre and NZMP team both have a long history of partnering with customers to not only provide them with steady supplies of ingredients, but creating business solutions with them.

The product is now available in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Turkey and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi co-op plans to the launch the product in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and even South America in the future.