CHICAGO – Global dairy ingredients brand NZMP announced a joint venture with Tillamook County Creamery Association and Threemile Canyon Farms to launch a Grade A functional whey protein concentrate.

The partnership is called Columbia River Technologies and the product is named Pro-Optima.

NZMP, a brand of global nutrition company Fonterra, stated it teamed with Tillamook and Threemile Canyon Farms (both based in Oregon) to expand the delivery of ingredients for cultured applications. NZMP described Pro-Optima as a protein enhancement for cultured products, especially yogurt, that unlocks “a range of textures.”

Its flexibility means it can be utilized in not only traditional and drinkable yogurt, but also in mousses, nutritional yogurt bars and other products, per NZMP.

"As one of the world's leading dairy cooperatives, brands rely on us to supply both the functional ingredients and formulation expertise they need to develop compelling new products that address current and future consumer needs," said Megan Patterson, Americas marketing communication manager at Fonterra. "Our Pro-Optima Grade A fWPC is a first to market functional whey protein concentrate made with US milk to fuel cultured product innovation. Pro-Optima enables new product formats and adds more nutritional value to existing formats to meet the needs of increasingly health conscious consumers."

As part of dairy exporter Fonterra, which is owned by 10,000 New Zealand farming families and backed by the country’s tradition of grass-fed farming, NZMP produces a broad range of dairy ingredients, including cheeses, dairy fats, powders and proteins.

With headquarters in Chicago, Fonterra USA is the regional home of NZMP.