Swiss food testing company SwissDeCode has launched the “A2 INSIDE Label,” a label intended to help the end consumer identify the efforts of dairy producers in guaranteeing authentic A2 milk products.
The move comes as consumers worry about fraudulent milk claims, and dairy companies face an increasing need for improving customer’s confidence.
Speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst, Joana Gomes, marketing manager at SwissDeCode, says milk is considered one of the most adulterated products globally.
“Some examples of adulteration include dilution with water or vegetable fats, the addition of chemical substances, or blending in milk from other species. This is done mostly for economic gain, but is deceiving and potentially harmful to consumers,” she says.
“Consumer trust has always been crucial to legitimate food businesses. However, many companies, and consequently consumer trust, are negatively affected by the inefficiency of current testing methods. SwissDeCode improves the testing and certification processes and helps companies promote this to consumers.”
The dairy industry faces an increasing need for proving the authenticity of the products they are offering.Skepticism around dairy
SwissDeCode’s strategy is that a consumer can scan a QR code on the packaging and be able to see when, where, and by whom the contents were tested for authenticity, allergens or quality.
The label will be used by companies who analyze their herds and milk batches with the rapid DNA tests from SwissDeCode.
“Overall, consumers are more and more skeptical and concerned about the quality, origin and nutritional value of their food,” Gomes adds.
Companies registered with the A2 INSIDE Label commit to ensuring their products have been tested and benefit from promotional materials and discounted test kits.
Dairy fraud is a growing concern
The dairy industry is often subjected to fraud, and premium products such as A2 milk are particularly vulnerable to adulteration.
Without clear regulations and standards for producing A2 milk, companies are looking for solutions that can help validate the quality of their products.
SwissDeCode has developed the DNAFoil A2 Family of Tests: rapid, on-site DNA tests for A2 cows and A2 milk.
These tests allow dairy farmers and dairy processing companies to identify A2 milk-producing cows and to assess the authenticity of A2 milk batches.
Improving brand reputation
Customers who purchase and conduct the DNAFoil A2 Cow Test and the DNAFoil A2 Cow Milk Test can apply to receive exclusive access to the new label.
Batches of milk that tested negative for the presence of the A1 beta-casein can bear the A2 INSIDE Label.
When scanned, this code leads the consumer to a dedicated website explaining the concept of A2 milk and the testing process that cows and milk went through to receive the A2 INSIDE Label.
In addition, SwissDeCode will coordinate promotional campaigns with the members of the program, so they can distinctly demonstrate their commitment to providing authentic products, increasing credibility, trust and brand recognition.
Gomes says that labels like the A2 INSIDE Label are “useful for applications where current regulations and standards are not enough to reassure consumers about product quality and authenticity.”
“Since our testing solutions cover different parts of the food industry, we may create similar labels for other areas besides dairy,” she adds. The label will be used by companies who analyze their herds and milk batches with the rapid DNA tests from SwissDeCode.
Several companies already demonstrated their interest in being part of the program and displaying the new label on their packaging, including one of the world’s top dairy producers.
By granting a quick identification of tested A2 milk products, this label facilitates the decision-making process for consumers and boosts their trust in the brand.
What is A2 milk?
Milk beta-casein can be mainly two types: A1 and A2, with A2 milk containing only the A2 type.
Initially, all cows carried the A2 beta-casein gene exclusively. Still, over time they underwent a genetic mutation, which resulted in a different version of the beta-casein gene that codes for the A1 beta-casein type.
Migration and modern farming resulted in the spread of this genetic mutation, which led to a mixed cattle population that can produce A1, A2 or both types of beta-casein.
Dairy companies worldwide are motivated to produce A2 milk to respond to the consumer demand for a perceived healthier alternative to conventional dairy. As the interest in A2 milk grows, the milk industry faces an increasing need for proving the authenticity of the products they are offering.
Source: Food Ingredients First