Following a rigorous research and development process which involved access to more than 13,000 strains, Müller discovered that the combination of two specific yogurt strains, (selected and combined specific strains from two species: Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus) created a less sour tasting yogurt which means less sugar is required to be added to create a better taste.
Dairy foods are popular among consumers, and sales gross more than $125 billion per year (IDFA, 2017). With dairy product popularity comes new demands from consumers for healthier, low-calorie products that taste the same as their higher calorie counterparts. In a report published in the Journal of Dairy Science researchers review the options available to the dairy industry to reduce sugar in products such as ice cream, yogurt, and flavored milk without sacrificing flavor.
The public health and consumer focus on health has increased in the past 20 years, leading to a significant push for healthier food choices including dairy products. Overconsumption of sugar, for example, can contribute to a host of issues such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and dental cavities.
“Dairy foods represent a large market,” explained lead investigator MaryAnne Drake, PhD, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor, Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences, Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA. “The dilemma of how to reduce sugar content without sacrificing flavor and negatively affecting product sales is challenging, as sugar plays an important role in dairy foods, not only in flavor, but also in texture, color, and viscosity. Replacing sugar can have negative effects, making substitution inherently difficult.”
Dairy products like ice cream, yogurt, and flavored milk are potentially high in unwanted added sugar. Some of the standard processes for developing healthier food products, such as fat, sugar, and salt reduction, result in an unacceptable flavor. Sweet taste perception can also be affected by texture of the food matrix and the presence of fat. Other sugar reduction techniques include hydrolysis of lactose, ultrafiltration, and direct reduction. In this review, researchers review recent studies to assess the role of sugar, alternative sweeteners, and sugar reduction in ice cream, yogurt, and flavored milk and discuss the options available to the dairy industry.
Health and a balanced diet have long ceased to be trend topics, but instead have been the long-running issue for many years. More and more consumers are paying attention to a health-conscious diet and are increasingly turning to products with as little sugar as possible.
The DMK Group meets this demand with its flagship brand MILRAM: The newly introduced products of the year, MILRAM Buttermilch Drink Grapefruit-Aronia (buttermilk with grapefruit and aronia) and MILRAM Buttermilch Drink Johannisbeere-Granatapfel (buttermilk with currant and pomegranate), contain comparatively little sugar. The same applies to the new MILRAM Feine Quarkcreme (fine quark cream) in raspberry, tangerine and mango flavours. The MILRAM Skyr Drinks focus on the consumers’ purchasing considerations of “a lot of protein and little fat”. Nevertheless, these new products also stand out with their comparatively low sugar content.
In future, MILRAM will also use less sugar in its existing products. Matthias Rensch, COO Business Unit Brand: “This year and next year, we will gradually reduce the added sugar so that consumers can get used to having less sugar. This is very important: We compensate for the lower sugar content not with sweeteners or sweetener-based aromas, but with milk and yoghurt. After all, the brand represents natural, genuine enjoyment. Apart from this, consumers are increasingly interested in a shorter list of ingredients. Clean and clear labels are a big topic.”
The introduction of a new levy on sugar has had little impact on consumer behaviour in the UK, according to a report by market research firm Nielsen.
Some 62% of UK shoppers claim to have not changed their consumption behaviour ’in any way’ following the introduction of the sugar tax, Nielsen says. Just 20% of respondents said they were checking sugar content on packages more frequently since the tax has come into effect.
Valio’s nutrition agreement helps consumers to reduce their use of sugar and salt, and makes it easier to make low-salt choices or recipes. From 2015 – 2020, Valio will double the number of snack products it makes that are unflavoured, sugar-free, and with 20 – 50% less sugar than before. The goal for reducing salt content is to sell seven million kilos of Valio ValSa® reduced-salt products annually by 2020. Valio will also provide details of the amount of salt in all Valio recipes by 2020.
Valio’s low-salt product range, cheeses and spreads with Valio ValSa®, was launched in 2016, and by the end of 2017 almost four million kilograms of these products were sold. The goal is to bring the annual sale of Valio ValSa® products up to seven million kilos by 2020.