The image of homemade: natural stabilizer provides smooth texture and clean labels – Quest International Bioproducts Group Inc.’s Enrich 301 stabilizer and emulsifier

The image of homemade: natural stabilizer provides smooth texture and clean labels – Quest International Bioproducts Group Inc.’s Enrich 301 stabilizer and emulsifier – Applied Technology

Natural stabilizer provides smooth texture and clean labels

Nutrition is the paramount concern of consumers according to a 1992 Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) survey. While 71 percent of polled shoppers read the nutritional panel of a product all or most of the time, 76 percent give that much attention to the ingredient statement. Fat and cholesterol topped the list of shoppers’ health concerns.

Food marketers, well aware of these trends, are requesting high-quality, clean-labeled, reduced-fat foods from product developers. As food formulators know, asking is easy, delivering is tough.

Emulsifiers and stabilizers play a key role in the production of smooth and creamy premium ice creams–and are critical in lower fat versions where smooth textures and prevention of ice crystal growth present a challenge.

Building on knowledge and years of experience in starter cultures and dairy product fermentation–Quest International Bioproducts developed Enrich 301. This stabilizing and emulsifying ingredient capitalizes on unique properties that result when dairy products undergo the culturing process.

Traditional but sophisticated

Certain steps in the production of Enrich 301 are similar to the traditional fermentation of yogurt, buttermilk and other cultured dairy products–but a bit more sophisticated, says Don Boudreaux, director, product and process development with Quest.

The smooth body and viscosity of such cultured products results from microbial activity. The bacteria produce exopolysaccharides (gums) that bind water–a critical function in stabilization. The microorganisms also produce lactic acid, which lowers the product’s pH and partially denatures milk proteins. This increases the water binding ability of the proteins. Additionally, certain proteins–casein molecules with polar regions–function as emulsifiers.

With the introduction of Enrich 301, frozen dessert processors can now take advantage of the stabilizing and emulsifying forces that occur in traditional cultured dairy products and provide an all-natural, clean ingredient declaration for their premium frozen products.

During the production of Enrich 301, a blend of nonfat milk and sugar is sterilized (rather than just pasteurized) and then moved to bioreactors, says Boudreaux. The milk/sugar substrate undergoes carefully controlled fermentation with specially developed cultures. Spray drying and standardizing converts the ingredient to a powder that meets pre-determined specifications. For use in processing, the dispersable ingredient may be incorporated at any point with good agitation.

Flavor & formulation benefits

The dairy and sugar character of the ingredient results in additional benefits. Every pound of Enrich 301 can replace 0.4 pounds of milk solids nonfat and 0.3 pounds of sweetener in a formula. The stabilizer’s dairy flavor note blends with and enhances the overall flavor profile. Offered as a powder in 50-pound, multi-wall bags, the product should be stored under cool and dry conditions.

Marketers of successfull dairy products note closely the desires of label-reading consumers.

What else did those GMA-polled shoppers say? When asked which star’s grocery cart they would take home for their own, 33 percent said Jane Fonda’s, 26 percent said Bill Cosby’s, 14 percent would choose Sylvester Stallone’s, while Madonna’s eating habits are highly suspect; only 2 percent said they’d take her weekly groceries home.

Image is important.

COPYRIGHT 1992 Business News Publishing Co.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group