Articles by Kimberly Decker

Slingin’ the blues with spirulina extract

For years, dairy formulators had few FDA-approved naturally derived color options in the green-blue-purple range. That has changed with the allowable use of spirulina extract.

The food and beverage industry whizzed past a major milestone in 2011, when for the first time ever the global value of the natural colorants market exceeded that of its synthetic counterparts.


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Cultures and enzymes can increase yields

Cultures and enzymes have become more specific over the past few years. They help dairy processors increase yield from milk and speed processing time. Cultures and enzymes also prolong the shelf life of foods, a real benefit for consumers.


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Boon times for functional beverages

Dairy processors add functional ingredients like protein, probiotics and fiber to create beverages for weight control, gut health and disease management.

If you need an icebreaker to use at a dairy-industry gathering, try this: “Functional foods: passing fad or future of the business?” It works wonders at sparking discussion.


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Dairy ingredients: Navigating the world of flavors

Ethnic influences like elote (Mexican corn on the cob) and Moroccan spices are finding a place in dairy foods.

After what feels like decades of straining to eat virtuously, the backlash has arrived in the form of a generalized weariness with the whole notion of “good for you.” How else to explain the success of foodservice stunts like the Pop-Tart ice cream sandwich from hamburger purveyor Carl’s Jr., or Taco Bell’s successful-beyond-belief Doritos Locos Taco?


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Natural and alternative sweeteners for dairy foods

Health advocates have been whacking the sugar piñata. Consumers say they are cutting back, but sales receipts tell a different story. Dairy processors seek sweetening systems that allow for flavor but reduce the calorie count.

Dairy processors are in the “customer-is-always-right” business. But lately, knowing just what the customer is right about can test the faculties of even the keenest student of consumer behavior.


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The java script

Developing RTD tea and coffee

Ready-to-drink coffee and tea products create value and convenience as a cheaper and quicker alternative to stopping at a coffee or tea chain.

Dairy processors have the processing equipment and the retail relationships so it makes sense to capitalize on the popularity of ready-to-drink coffee and tea beverages. Here’s what you need to know about developing these RTD drinks.


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How fruits and nuts make dairy foods even better

Fruits add color, fiber, vitamins and taste to yogurt, ice cream and beverages. Grains also add fiber and play an important role in formulating inclusions. As for nuts, they are a nutritional powerhouse in their own right. 


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The texture of dairy foods is as important as flavor, color

 Food scientists describe texture as being able to “make or break” a product’s acceptance by the public. Yet compared to flavor, aroma and color, texture has largely been unsung. That’s beginning to change. 


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Dairy ingredient trends: clean labels and green business

 Dairy processors turn to ingredient suppliers for help in writing clean labels and operating green, sustainable business. Suppliers show how to add additional protein into foods and beverages. 


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Hints for tints

How to work with natural colors in dairy foods and beverages

Don’t mourn the passing of synthetics just yet, says one color supplier. The demand for artificial colors has not decreased. It has remained very consistent and we expect to see that trend continue, he said.
For ages, cheesemakers used spices to color their products. Other dairy food processors, however, have formulated with synthetic colorants. As consumers scrutinize food labels, the entire dairy industry is seeking natural alternatives. Thankfully, the technology has improved.
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Velvet Ice Cream Co., Utica, Ohio

Velvet Ice Cream built its reputation on making premium products that adhere to the standard of identity for ice cream. Its lines consist of premium, all natural, churned (low-fat), no sugar added, novelties, sherbet (in cups and in push-up tubes) and a controlled ice cream brand for grocery store customers.

BehindtheScenes

This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!

11/18/14 2:00 pm EST

Harness Your Product Inspection Program to Save Money, Ensure Quality and Drive Efficiencies

Consolidation in the dairy industry is raising the bar on innovation and driving efficiencies to ensure competitiveness. One area often overlooked is the role that the right product inspection program can play in supporting the organization’s overall business goals and protecting brand reputation. Drawing on best practices in metal detection, X-ray inspection and checkweighing, this session will cover criteria to help determine the right technologies to employ for a given product and packaging type for high-value, perishable dairy products.

Dairy Foods Magazine

dairy foods october

2014 October

A look inside 100-year-old Velvet Ice Cream; Plus we look at four cheese processors with award-winning artisan and farmstead cheeses.

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Tharp & Young on Ice Cream: An Encyclopedic Guide to Ice Cream Science and Technology

An at once an all-inclusive guide to the meaning of hundreds of technical terms and ideas needed for ice cream manufacturing, as well as a practical introduction to the ingredients, freezing methods, flavoring, and packaging of ice cream, sherbet, sorbet, gelato, frozen yogurts, novelties and many other kinds of frozen desserts.

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