Whai Hua - new dairy products and value chains

Developing dairy wellness products is the key goal of the Whai Hua PGP programme.


The challenge

Aerial view of dairy factory
Developing immune-enhancing dairy milk products.

Supplying ingredients for food manufacture has long been a cornerstone of the New Zealand dairy industry's business. The challenge is to develop new, added-value ingredients that will enhance the offering, based on working closely with in-market partners.

For Whai Hua, there is a challenge to create a niche for themselves as well as an opportunity to help develop Maori agribusiness capability.

The solution

This PGP programme will develop immune-enhancing dairy milk products targeting health-conscious consumers in Asian and New Zealand markets.

It will do this by developing dairy herds which produce milk which has high immune-enhancing properties, product development, functionality testing and market research.

The research partner is AgResearch.

Outcome Logic Model

Outputs and outcomes to date

  • Results indicate that the target compounds in bovine milk act in a similar way to their counterparts in human milk, binding with a wide range of bacteria.
  • Two scientific papers have been recently published that will be used to support product claims.
  • The natural production profiles of the target compounds have been shown to be repeatable between years.
  • An elite herd of 510 cows has been assembled containing naturally high levels of the target compound.
  • Options for breeding cows with naturally high levels of the target compound in the milk are being pursued.
  • Immunisation trials have been conducted and proven to be acceptable from an animal ethics and welfare perspective. A functional product developed from immunisation of cows has so far proved to be not viable and further development has stopped.
  • Optimal processing specifications that retain functional activity have been determined and are being translated to commercial scale conditions.
  • A processing prototype has been installed and tested at the Food Innovation Waikato plant. Commercial validation runs will be conducted in Q2.
  • Marketing research is on-going to identify potential products, target markets and the level of efficacy evidence that will be required to make product health claims.
  • A collaborative agreement to undertake an evaluation of the target product has been signed with a major international company. Test material will be supplied in Q2.

Audit

Key facts

Programme start: March 2013 
Length: 3.5 years. (A 6-month programme extension ending in December 2016 has been approved)
PGP funding: $2.0 million 
Industry funding: $2.1 million
Crown funding paid out to programme for work done to 28 February 2017: $2,023,062.52
Commercial partners: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Incorporation, Miraka Ltd, Kanematsu New Zealand Ltd 
Estimated economic benefits: $8.6 million a year in economic benefits to New Zealand by 2021.

Progress review summary report

Quarterly Progress Report Summaries

October to December 2016 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2016 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2016 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2016 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2015 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2015 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2015 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2015 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2014 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2014 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

April - June 2014 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

January - March 2014 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

October - December 2013 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary

July - September 2013 - Whai Hua Executive Summary

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PGP Executive Summary
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