An eye toward flavor

Agropur Ingredients, La Crosse, Wis., uses patented technology to isolate what it describes as three-dimension milk fractions that provide creaminess without fat. The technology concentrates milk’s essential flavor molecules and enables formulators to enhance reduced-fat, sodium and sugar formulations in order to maintain desirable flavor, richness and textural properties. The concentrate also is designed to counteract the metallic taste associated with some non-nutritive sweeteners.
In lower-fat frozen desserts, dairy fractions may replace 15% or more of the nonfat dry milk in a formulation.

“In lower-fat frozen desserts, this dairy fraction can replace 15% or more of the nonfat dry milk in a formulation, which helps lower costs while improving texture and mouthfeel,” said Corrie Reilly, marketing and communications.

It may be blended into stabilizing systems without complicating the manufacturing process. It is labeled as simply dairy solids or dairy flavor.

“Not only does it bring out creamy, milky notes, it accents other flavor profiles such as cocoa in chocolate beverages,” Ms. Reilly said. “This dairy ingredient has also been shown to assist with lowering the amount of added sugar in flavored milk.”

The Wisconsin Center For Dairy Research, Madison, Wis., conducted a taste test comparing two school-compliant flavored milks, a control and one made with Agropur Ingredients’ flavoring technology. Participants were asked to identify the sample they would like to see in schools. More than half of the participants indicated the Agropur sample as the preferred sample to be served.

Arla Foods Ingredients, which has a U.S. office in Basking Ridge, N.J., has developed a protein solution to address the problem of watery low-fat cottage cheese. The dairy protein is added to the dressing (cream) that is combined with the curds to make cottage cheese. It reacts with the salt in the dressing to create a thicker texture and a creamier end product. This eliminates the need for the stabilizers frequently used to enhance the quality of low-fat cottage cheese, which tends to have a runnier consistency than the standard version and is therefore more likely to require thickening. This is often done using starches and gums, which may mean sacrificing clean label status, according to the company.

Because the cream dressing containing the new dairy protein is creamier not just thick or gummy, the proportion of curds required in the recipe may be reduced without any negative impact on product quality. This enables manufacturers to optimize their production costs and maximize profitability.

“This is a unique solution for improving cottage cheese products, especially low-fat cottage cheese, which often presents technical and quality challenges,” said Claus Andersen, category and application manager for cheese. “Now manufacturers can achieve a thick, creamier and tastier end product, using a dairy-based ingredient that is clean label and familiar to consumers.”

Cottage cheese made with the new protein ingredient is also more stable and less likely to separate and lose its texture when it has been left to stand, improving its overall appearance and consumer appeal, according to the company. The protein is easy to use in the production process, and the cottage cheese is made in the usual way.

Australian researchers re-cently achieved milkfat separation on a large scale using ultrasonic waves, a process historically used only in small-scale settings. The technique may be used to select milk fat globules of different sizes for use in developing dairy foods with improved taste and texture.

“By tuning system parameters according to acoustic fundamentals, the technique can be used to specifically select milk fat globules of different sizes in the collected fractions, achieving fractionation outcomes desired for a particular dairy product,” said Thomas Leong, an ultrasound engineer and a postdoctoral researcher from the faculty of science, engineering and technology at the Swinburne University of Technology. “These streams can be further fractionated to obtain smaller and larger sized fat globules, which can be used to produce novel dairy products with enhanced properties.”

For example, studies suggest cheese made from milk with a higher portion of small fat globules will have superior taste and texture. Other studies show milk or cream with more large fat globules may lead to tastier butter.