In our February column we discussed the importance of digestive health as the basis of all good nutrition and the role ice cream products could play in terms of providing probiotic (consumption of “live and active beneficial” bacteria) and/or probiotic friendly (that is, prebiotic) mix ingredients. We reviewed delivery of probiotics via active culturing and/or cold inoculation.
Consumers recognize that cultured dairy products (including yogurt, cottage cheese and fermented milk beverages) are healthy and good-for-you choices. Health professionals consider cultured dairy foods to be nutrient-dense foods, meaning they have a high nutrient-to-energy ratio.
Milk production has increased 15% in the 10 years from 2002 to 2011. And 2012 is off to a good start, with production in the first quarter up 5.2% compared to the same period a year ago. Total cheese production (excluding cottage cheeses) rose 3.6% in 2010 to 10.4 billion pounds, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Italian varieties (at 4.42 billion pounds) rose 5.8%, and American-type cheese increased 1.7%, accounting for 41% of total cheese production. Clearly, America’s dairy processors are productive.
Virtually all frozen desserts have a need for stabilization. Stabilizers extend the shelf life of products subjected to heat shock during distribution, sale and home storage. This functionality is related to the limitation of water mobility, which, unchecked, can negatively affect the growth of ice and other crystals in the product.
I have been at the International Dairy Foods Association for 22 years, and during that time water usage and wastewater discharges have always been important issues.Discussions about water in the past were usually about wastewater. Historically, municipalities added more and more houses and businesses to their sewage treatment plants, but did not upgrade the infrastructure to accommodate the increased load.
Over the last five years, there has been more thought and attention given to design and sustainability issues early on in the packaging process. This will become even more important in the future. So it is critical at the beginning of the development process to consider a package’s design, sustainability and end of life.
A trip through a grocer’s dairy case finds Greek yogurt introductions and product extensions. The food is dipped, crunched and frozen. In other cultured dairy product categories, processors either simplify the foods or make them more decadent. No matter the direction, the category is booming.
Most dairy industry meetings over the past year have devoted at least one session or agenda item to safety. DMI’s Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy established a Food Safety Committee almost two years ago to evaluate existing food safety tools and develop new ones. One of the main reasons for this focus was the passage in 2010 of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).
A week or so before Thanksgiving 2011, Mexico became our first billion-dollar overseas market. It was like watching our first-born go through a graduation ceremony — the satisfying reward after years of careful nurturing.