Diarylogue: Leading the Whey with Dairy

by Kathie Canning
Dairy R&D Editor
mailto:kcanning@stagnito.com
Ingredients
Searching for a frozen dairy treat that not only tastes delicious, but also provides potential health benefits? A team from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul has perfected a recipe just for you. The team’s “Ice Cream Poppers” product bested seven other entries to be named best overall winner in the 2004 Discoveries in Dairy Ingredients Contest, sponsored by the Do It With Dairy program of Dairy Management Inc. (DMI). Low in carbohydrates but high in fiber and protein, the bite-sized delights surround a center of frozen whey protein concentrate, milk, cream and vanilla with a crunchy reduced-carbohydrate base of almond flour, wheat bran, whey protein, wheat starch and sugar. A chocolate outer shell provides the finishing touch.
Judged by a panel of food and beverage industry representatives, each of the contest entries was evaluated on the basis of taste, marketability, originality, feasibility, use of dairy ingredients and a financial analysis. The winning team was awarded a cash prize of $5,000 for its efforts, and the tasty treats will be among the innovative products featured at the DMI exhibit during this year’s IFT Annual Meeting and Food Expo in Las Vegas.
The winning concept meshes perfectly with current food trends emphasizing convenience and health. According to Kristin Schmitz, leader of the Minnesota team, understanding the latest trends and acting on them are key to the creation of new food products.
The winning product also underscores the fact that dairy-processing byproducts such as whey protein need not be limited to products labeled as health food and drinks — they can be important components to fun, trendy foods as well.
“Berry Blasters,” the entry the judges deemed most creative, also drives this point home. Created by a team from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., the product is designed to appeal to a kid’s needs for fun and interaction — while sneaking a bit of microfiltrate whey into the mix. Kids add soft, tiny color-changing gummy balls, stored in a separate cap on top of the beverage container, to the cranberry juice/whey mix. They then sip the gummy ball/beverage mixture through a straw.
The efforts of these and the other college team entrants might just provide a bit of inspiration for dairy formulators in search of new, marketable ideas.