This spring saw Norway’s TINE SA dairy cooperative expand its Biola brand—a name associated for yogurts and fermented milk—into probiotic, dairy-free juices. There are two varieties: Apple, Grapes and Passion Fruit; and Orange and Tangerine. In doing so, TINE incorporated a lactic acid bacteria LGG® ingredient from Finland’s Valio Ltd., another dairy cooperative based in Helsinki.
Valio’s finished product line includes milk drinks, cheeses, spreads, juices and functional foods, including probiotic Gefilus products. Valio also has an ingredient business selling milk powders (including lactose-free), whey powders and fruit preparations. A Food & Functionals group (http://www.valio.com/ff/), markets Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Valio’s trademark LGG probiotic.
A Valio case study quotes TINE Biola Brand Manager Puja Agarwal, who said her company decided in spring 2012 to take Biola into the juice market—and specifically into a line of functional juices.
Also quoted was Steinar Evavold, a senior advisor in TINE’s R&D group.
“Valio Gefilus juices have been selling well for many years and it struck us as an interesting concept, especially for consumers in Norway who want the health effect but would prefer to get it from a juice rather than a fermented milk product, or are lactose intolerant or simply don’t enjoy milk,” he said.
Officials noted that TINE’s Biola brand debuted in 1997 with several yogurts and fermented milk. It was the same year that Valio introduced Valio Gefilus brand juice drinks with LGG.
TINE says it processes the new probiotic Biola juices at a TINE plant in Oslo.
“The probiotic bacteria are delivered to us in a suitable form and added to the pasteurized juices prior to filling,” said Evavold. “Valio also supplies the appropriate technology, experience and know-how to produce a juice with excellent taste and quality.”