* Chr Hansen launches new generation of bio-protective bacteria
* Fourth-quarter operating profit beats forecast
* 2017/18 revenue growth seen at 8-10 pct vs 10 pct in 2016/17
COPENHAGEN, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Food ingredients maker Chr. Hansen unveiled a range of new bacteria-based products on Wednesday, aimed at better preventing moulds developing in foods such as yoghurts, meat and salads.
Sales of so-called bio-protective products rose 30 percent in the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, the Danish firm said.
Shares in Chr. Hansen were up 1.6 percent at 545 Danish crowns after the company reported a better than expected fourth-quarter operating profit and forecast an 8-10 percent rise in revenue in the current year.
While the business producing ‘good’ bacteria to prevent ‘bad’ bacteria from destroying food still only accounts for 5 percent of the firm’s food cultures and enzymes sales, its high growth rate is expected to continue next year, Chief Financial Officer Soeren Westh Lonning told Reuters.
“These products feed into several important consumer trends,” Lonning added.
Chr. Hansen’s main business produces enzymes and bacteria for wine, meat and dairy products.
Around 20 percent of all yoghurt that is being produced in Europe gets thrown out, and towards 2020 the ambition is to reduce global yogurt waste by 2 percent, or 700,000 tons, the firm said.
The United Nations says a third of food produced is not eaten, and food loss and waste accounts for $940 billion in economic losses and 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The product launched on Wednesday is the firm’s second generation of bioprotective bacteria, an area where the three biggest rivals are Dupont, Koninklijke DSM and Bioprox.
It is especially aimed at opening up markets in Latin America and Asia where products are exposed to higher and more fluctuating temperatures on their way to supermarkets. (Reporting by Stine Jacobsen; Editing by Greg Mahlich)