The two companies entered into an agreement that gives Friesland Foods Domo access to Nandi's technology to produce whey protein concentrates for the dairy market. In particular, Friesland has its eye on the low-fat yoghurt sector - and area in which it says it has identified much potential but where maintaining a creamy consistency in products remains a challenge. One per cent of the new ingredient, which Friesland is calling DOMO Hiprotal 60MP, is said to replace three per cent of milk fat. From a technological point of view it is interesting, Friesland said, since less protein is required to achieve the same consistency. This translates to lower ingredient costs. The whey protein concentrates - themselves derived from dairy - also square up with clean-label requirements in a dairy context, since they do not need to be listed as additives. Details on the technology behind the whey protein were not disclosed. However Nandi's expertise lies in denatured protein technology, and the platform permits it to manipulate the properties of proteins like whey, soy and egg in order to up their functionality. Although it is in the dairy sector that the innovation looks to plug a major market trend, the two companies are sharing the rights to market the ingredient range. Nandi is to sell it for non-dairy applications, such as fat replacement and protein fortification, under the name Nandi milk Protein NMP60. The companies did not reveal exactly how long the ingredient range has been in the works, but Friesland Foods Domo managing director Roelof Joosten called it a new and unique product that was developed in a short space of time. "[The collaboration with Nandi] fits into our strategy if responding more quickly to market demands and shortening the time it takes to get our products onto the market." For Nandi's part, CEO David McCartney said the agreement is "significant validation of Nandi's technology that fits within our business model of collaborating with a limited number of key business partners". According to a recent report from Leatherhead Foods, the overall market for low and light products in the US, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia was worth a total of $66bn (€49bn) last year. Low-fat foods were most widely consumed in this category, with sales of $29.7bn (€22.2bn) in 2006. Dairy products and beverages dominated with the highest share (42 and 40 per cent respectively) of the specific food markets.