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Dairy Proteins Represent Golden Opportunity

Jake LeRoy

U.S. Permeate and Dairy Proteins Represent Golden Opportunity for Innovation in Southeast Asia

Food scientist Sharon Gerdes presents on hypertension and higher protein diets at the 2015 Food Ingredients Asia Conference   

Bangkok, September 8, 2015 - Consumers around the world are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the quality and healthfulness of their diets. This year's Food Ingredients Asia Conference will feature two presentations showcasing how U.S. whey permeate and dairy proteins can help achieve that goal.  

Hypertension is a major health problem around the globe and highly prevalent in people from Southeast Asia. With hypertension comes an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, which contributes to heart failure and high premature mortality rates.  

Sharon Gerdes, Certified Food Scientist and owner of SKGerdes Consulting, LLC in the United States, will offer her findings on the topic at the conference. Her presentation, titled "Dairy Ingredients to Combat Hypertension in Southeast Asia," will delve into what factors cause hypertension, what can result from developing hypertension and how foods lower in sodium can reduce the risk of hypertension.  

"The prevalence of hypertension in Southeast Asians is high due to various factors, such as diet, smoking and physical inactivity," Gerdes says. "Food manufacturers have an opportunity to introduce great-tasting, lower-sodium versions of popular foods using dairy to help consumers decrease daily sodium intake to nutritionist-recommended levels."  

U.S. whey permeate is a dairy ingredient that can help people concerned with hypertension by reducing the levels of sodium in a variety of foods and beverages. Also known as dairy product solids, whey permeate boosts the content of numerous heart- and bone-friendly minerals, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. Unique for its ability to replace salt, U.S. permeate also can be an option for cleaner label formulations.  

Permeate is not only gaining popularity because of its flavor and health benefits, but also for its cost savings, longer shelf life and wide range of functional applications. It is composed of at least 76% lactose, which contributes to the browning appearance, pleasant aroma, absorption of flavors and ability to melt and re-crystallize in food.  

"Food and beverage manufacturers in Southeast Asia have a golden opportunity to capitalize on an ingredient with a promising future," said Dali Ghazalay, regional director for the Southeast Asia branch of the U.S. Dairy Export Council® (USDEC). "The United States has the infrastructure in place to meet the global demand for permeate with production volume rising 30% over the last four years."  

Gerdes also will present on the benefits of consuming protein throughout the day and life cycle. She will address how to appropriately optimize protein intake at all ages, taking into account the quantity, quality and timing of consumption.  

"Like manufacturers in the United States and other markets, food formulators in Southeast Asia have an opportunity to focus on the importance of added protein in meal and snack items," said Gerdes. "This presentation will explore how judicious amounts of high-quality dairy proteins can supplement plant-based and novel proteins to achieve higher-protein diets."  

Sharon Gerdes's presentation schedule

Presentation Date Time
Dairy Ingredients to Combat Hypertension Thursday, Sept. 10 15.55-16.10
Optimizing Protein Intake Friday, Sept. 11 15:45-16.00

This year's Food Ingredients Asia Conference will be held Sept. 10-11 at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre. The theme of the show is "New Functional Ingredients for Healthy Living" and will focus on food health and nutrition, gastrointestinal health, health and beauty, and joint and bone health.  

Gerdes will present her papers on behalf of USDEC, which has representatives across Southeast Asia who carry out a variety of trade engagement programs. Their goal is to accelerate customer success by sourcing and using U.S. dairy. For more information on USDEC Southeast Asia, email  

Visit for more information on utilization trends, recipe ideas and technical information to spark creativity in using U.S. dairy in new and innovative ways.