Food Business News - July 10, 2018 - 78
with proper selection of oils, emulsifiers
and plant-based buffering solutions, heat
and acid stability can be improved."
Cheese is one of the most challenging dairy analogs to produce. It is
because milkfat and milk proteins are
integral to the development of desirable
"A food must taste good to be accepted and to generate repeat purchases," said
Mike Lefevre, director of cheese and dairy
flavors, Kerry, Beloit, Wis. "This is true for
analog cheeses, which have visual, textural and flavor qualities meant to mimic
the cheese everyone loves, but at a reduced
cost. Analog cheeses are used in many
applications and are sometimes blended
with natural cheese, processed cheese,
foods or spreads, or cheese sauces."
Added natural dairy flavors are used
significant improvements," Ms. Warren
said. "Starch and natural flavor options
have become more tailored for these
applications. Additionally, dairy-free
flavors with authentic regional character
and taste profiles offer the formulator
new options to add more sophisticated
and authentic flavors."
Edlong scientists developed cheese
analogs flavored as cotija, Manchego,
Vermont cheddar and more. Some were
vegan while others were 90% analog
with 10% natural cheese.
Anne Marie Butler, applications manager for Edlong in Europe, provided an example of a plant-based, Edam-style cheese
product. It was made of potato starch,
vegetable fat and water and contained no
emulsifiers, gums, phosphates or citrates.
"We were able to create an authentic
Califia Farms is introducing dairy-free yogurt drinks made with a proprietary blend of cultures.
to impart specific profiles. They help to
create a better-eating experience.
"When dairy ingredients can be
part of the formulation, explore clean
label cheese and dairy concentrates," Mr.
Riesterer said. "These are obtained from
controlled dairy fermentations rather
than chemical-sounding ingredients.
These concentrates enhance flavor to
ensure targeted taste is delivered while
providing cost savings and other functional benefits."
Vegan cheese alternatives, however,
are a growing category. It is inevitable
that authentic flavor and mouthfeel will
be lacking, but that does not mean an
acceptable product is impossible. It may
not taste liked an aged cheddar or string
like mozzarella, and that may be fine for
the target consumer.
"Ingredient options for functional
performance in texture, stretch, creaminess and flavor layering have enabled
Food Business News
balanced Edam profile through flavor
layering," she said. "First, we masked the
starch and vegetable fat taste by using a
butter flavor, which also added creaminess
and mouthfeel. Then we added a cheddar
cheese flavor to replicate the depth and
background cheesiness of a real Edam.
Finally, we included a natural Edam-type
flavor to provide the distinctive fruity and
nutty notes of this unique cheese."
The result was a plant-based cheese
with flexitarian appeal. It is also a lowcost, starch-based product for prepared
"Masking or neutralizing to create
a pleasant-tasting product is another big
objective in the dairy analog world," Ms.
Butler said. "In the area of plant-based
milks, yogurts and ice creams, manufacturers are not always looking for a
specific dairy profile. Often they would
like to make their products more neutral
tasting to improve the palatability. In
this situation, dairy-free milk, butter
and cream flavors work to neutralize,
masking undesired off-notes, even
adding richness and indulgence, without
contributing a specific dairy profile."
This neutralized analog may then be
flavored with fruit or brown flavors.
Opening the innovation pipeline
Califia Farms, Los Angeles, known
for its Almondmilks in distinctive, curvy
bottles, is rolling out dairy-free yogurt
drinks made with a proprietary blend of
cultures, including BB-12. The culture is
well known for its efficacy in digestive
and immune health. Califia Farms is the
first to batch ferment the BB-12 strain in
a non-dairy yogurt.
McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, Santa
Barbara, Calif., has reinvented everyone's
favorite treat with a line of dairy-free frozen desserts. After a process that took the
better part of a year, McConnell's co-owner
and chef Eva Ein finally arrived at a product that met the company's criteria.
"There's nothing interesting or innovative about coconut cream, almond or
cashew milk, or soy-based 'ice creams,'"
said Michael Palmer, co-owner and chief
executive officer, when referring to the
industry's standard alternatives to dairybased ice creams. "These are the same
products that have been out there for
years, and the results are rarely worth it."
It is difficult to remove the coconut or roasted nut taste from a coconut
cream or nut-based product, Mr. Palmer
said. In attempting to do this, companies typically over-flavor their products,
along with pumping these products full
of air and stabilizers, which results in
chalky, crumbly, inconsistent texture.
The base used in McConnell's dairyfree line is made from a proprietary
blend of 100% micronized pea protein. It
is neutral in flavor and shares the mouthfeel - and many other characteristics
- found in McConnell's 18.5% butterfat
"People who crave great ice cream
want to taste great ice cream, whether it's
dairy-based or not," Mr. Palmer said. "The
last thing we want to have to do is apologize
for giving customers a lesser experience.
They shouldn't have to settle." FBN
The author is a contributing editor for Food
Business News and a principal in the firm Dairy
and Food Communications, Inc. Her web site
address is www.berryondairy.com.
July 10, 2018