New Zealand's Fonterra Cooperative has opened a new processing plant in the Hautapu region of the country. The company said the facility will improve its value-added manufacturing capability.

The plant will incorporate milk protein fractionation technology, which will be used initially for extracting lactoferrin from milk. The plant will eventually be used to extract bioactives, minute components of milk which the company believes are beneficial to human health. Fonterra said that bioactives are a major driver of its value-add ingredients business in key markets.

Fonterra has identified various key markets for lactoferrin, including Japan, Korea, China and Taiwan. Construction of the $15 million Hautapu plant began in March and lactoferrin production started in September.