It's been nearly 100 years since Elie Metchnikoff first described yogurt as a health food. Since then, manufacturers have added everything from phytosterols to flax to yogurt, hoping to make a good thing even better. They've trimmed the fat and cut the sugar. They've made it drinkable and squeezable.
It can be entertaining to see how foreign marketers try to give their product lines an American twist. Mishaps in translation can provide a giggle or two. For example, one company exhibiting at ANUGA touted its whey-based drink as a bewitching beverage. Running with images that combined a black-hat witch and something resembling Coors Light's Elvira, this company was marketing whey as a source of power. (The power to cast a spell, I guess!)
The shelf-life of ice cream is determined by when, and under what conditions, a product feature fails. Microbiological, chemical and some physical features rarely change after ice cream is hardened, stored or distributed. However, sensory properties-flavor, body and texture-do change when ice cream is exposed to high temperatures and temperature fluctuations (i.e., heat shock).
After reading my column in the September issue-On Probiotics and Maternity Leave-many of you felt inclined to drop me a line. (It was all positive-thanks!) For those who missed the column, let me explain why these two very dissimilar topics were addressed in the same article.
Cheese lovers who scream "More cheese, please!" will find that lower-fat cheeses provide a great way to indulge in more cheese and still meet personal dietary goals. Food manufacturers and foodservice formulators can use lower-fat cheese to develop products and menu items that appeal to the calorie conscious.
Obesity has risen significantly in the United States and is predicted to become the most prevalent public health problem in the United States. Thirty percent of American adults aged 20 - 74-more than 60 million people-are obese. The number of children and teens who are overweight has tripled since 1980. Sixteen percent of children 6 - 19 years-more than 9 million-are considered overweight. If weight gain continues at its present rate, 39% of Americans are estimated to be obese in 2008.
When I was asked to write on "Aspects of Shelf-life," I was uncertain how to proceed. The factors that limit shelf-life and means to extend shelf-life are at once complex and simple. So, I will begin and end this piece with the same advice: "To maximize shelf-life, pay close attention to the quality of the incoming milk and other ingredients, product formulation, the selection of starter culture, the sanitation program in your plant and maintain the appropriate low-storage temperature."
Dairy foods have historically served as ideal vehicles for fruits and nuts. The motive for adding fruits and nuts to dairy was to enhance flavor and color. Today, this has expanded to include boosting nutritional profiles.
Research suggests that consumers are seeking foods and beverages with
added value in terms of increased nutrition, so fruity and nutty dairy foods can
have "real" appeal.