Thursday, June 14, 2018

Dairy Foods Innovation Idea: Eating for the Health of It

Cultured dairy products—from cottage cheese to quark to yogurt—can benefit with a side of inclusions. Often times they are the fun factor, they provide consumers the opportunity to interact with their food. What if these inclusions also delivered extra nutrition? Maybe vitamins and minerals? Protein? Fiber?

About one-third (66%) of Americans would like to eat more healthfully by making nutritional changes such as consuming less sugar and eating more protein, according to The Hartman Group’s Transformation of the American Meal 2017 report.

Inclusions are an easy way to do this, as inclusions in cultured products are easily provided via a dual-compartment container or a cup with an attached dome. This eliminates issues with ingredient interactions in the dairy food. When protein or fiber are delivered through inclusions, texture, mouthfeel and other sensory attributes of the white mass are not impacted.

Inclusions, which can also be a topping or part of a coating system, make sense in ice cream and frozen yogurt, too. All those pints of high-protein, lower-calorie, lower-sugar frozen dairy desserts in the market can become a little more exciting—and nutritious—with better-for-you inclusions. Maybe pints should get a dome. What about ice cream with a side cup of goodies? Consumers love playing with their food. Inclusions make this possible.

Protein-packed inclusions such as whey pods are a highly nutritional extruded form of whey proteins with a clean bland flavor. They are 70% protein, including whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and hydrolyzed whey protein isolate. These little balls can be included with other inclusion crunchies, such as nuts, chocolate-covered whole grains and fabricated flavored fiber bits.


Inulin and inulin-type fructans, including chicory root fiber; high-amylose starch (resistant starch 2); polydextrose; mixed plant cell wall fibers, including sugar cane fiber and apple fiber; arabinoxylan; alginate; galactooligosaccharide; and resistant maltodextrin/dextrin are the eight non-digestible carbohydrates additionally being recognized as fiber by FDA, according to a final guidance published on June 14, 2018, in the Federal Register.

The eight approvals give food manufacturers additional clarity in updating their labels as needed ahead of the compliance date for FDA’s new Nutrition Facts Label, which is Jan. 1, 2020, for manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual food sales, and Jan. 1, 2021, for smaller manufacturers.

The announcement follows various petitions, many with like-ingredient suppliers joining together to request the addition of beneficial non-digestible fibers to FDA’s definition of fiber, which was issued on May 27, 2016. This was FDA’s first time defining fiber, with the definition being “non-digestible soluble and insoluble carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units), and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants; or isolated or synthetic non-digestible carbohydrates (with three or more monomeric units) determined by the FDA to have physiological effects that are beneficial to human health.”

All of the eight recently approved fibers fit the second definition. The petitions, and supporting research, clearly showed that the fibers support physiological health benefits as assessed by FDA’s strict criteria, according to Carl Volz, president of Sensus America.

FDA’s examples of beneficial physiological effects include lowering blood glucose and cholesterol levels; lowering blood pressure; increase in frequency of bowel movements (improved laxation); increased mineral absorption in the intestinal tract; and reduced energy intake (for example, due to the fiber promoting a feeling of fullness).

Speaking to inulin, the most commonly used fiber food ingredient in dairy foods, namely yogurt, “The FDA’s inclusion of chicory root fiber as a dietary fiber in its new food labeling regulations allows our customers to continue marketing their products as sources of dietary fiber and to continue to use chicory root fiber as a tool to reduce calories and added sugar.”

To read the FDA published ruling, link HERE.

It’s time to include more protein and fiber in dairy foods, so consumers can eat for the health of it.

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