Achieve rich, creamy texture in Greek-style yogurt with a cost effective approach Suzanne Mutz-Darwell Senior Market Development Manager Matt Yurgec Principal Food Technologist Kathryn Fox Senior Technologist, Sensory Ingredion Incorporated Bridgewater, New Jersey Achieve rich, creamy texture in Greek-style yogurt with a cost effective approach the milk, with Greek yogurts on the market varying from 7%-11% protein, or 10-18 g/serving. Straining can be done through a traditional strainer, centrifugation, or ultrafiltration. Typically, Greek yogurts are much thicker in body and heavier in mouthfeel compared to their stirred yogurt counter-parts. Consumer attitudes toward Greek-style yogurt: focus group Ingredion conducted a consumer focus group in order to explore key consumer motivations with respect to eating and purchasing Greek-style yogurt. Additionally, feedback and reactions to several different Greek-style yogurt samples was sought. The market for Greek-style yogurt has exploded in the U.S., achieving triple digit growth over the last three years (IRI Symphony, 2012) while the yogurt category has only grown modestly. Greek-style yogurt now represents approximately 25% of the entire $6B yogurt category (AC Nielsen, 2012). This tremendous growth can be attributed to Greekstyle yogurt’s positive health and wholesomeness positioning and its tasty, indulgent and convenient benefits. Many in the industry still expect continued growth as U.S. yogurt consumption is still a fraction of that of Europe and other regions of the world. As of mid-2011, there were more than 23 brands and 210 distinct products of Greek-style yogurt on the market in the U.S. Additionally, Greek-style yogurt has expanded to other countries and is being used in related products such as dressings, dips and frozen yogurt. What is Greek-style yogurt? While there are no regulations defining what specifically “Greek” yogurt is in the U.S., the product must meet the minimum requirement for the FDA yogurt standards (Yogurt, Nonfat Yogurt and Lowfat Yogurt). Traditionally, Greek yogurt is a cultured dairy product that has an additional straining step following fermentation. This straining removes almost 75% of the water and concentrates the remaining solids. Depending on the type of milk used, a variety of fat levels may be achieved, ranging from 0% up to 10% fat. Straining also concentrates the protein in pg 2 Methodology • Facility: Ingredion Focus Group Facility, Bridgewater, New Jersey • Facilitation: Conducted by independent facilitator (Gowen Research) • Recruitment: 24 consumers, recruited for 3 panels, with the following criteria: – Ages 25-65 – 30/70 male/female split – Regular Greek-style yogurt eaters (3-5 x/month) – Primary purchaser of Greek-style yogurt – Health aware, but not extremely health conscious Key consumer focus group findings Why they like Greek-style yogurt Overall, consumers choose to purchase Greek-style yogurt primarily because of its good nutritional properties as well as its thick, creamy texture that is more filling and satisfying than regular yogurt. “I feel like I’m doing something better for myself” was a common theme heard throughout the panels. Panelists commented that they liked the fact that Greek-style yogurts are generally lower in sugar and carbohydrate content than regular yogurts, and that they are readily available in low fat varieties (2% or 0% fat). Respondents recognize that Greek-style yogurt is higher in protein, which is positive, but could not identify an ideal particular protein level. Several consumers mentioned that they wanted to avoid artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners. Table 1: S ummary of Consumer Focus Group cooking as a healthier replacement for sour cream or cream, or as a dessert. Findings on Greek-style Yogurt Consumer Feedback on Greek-style Yogurts Two key drivers to purchase and eat Greek-style yogurt: • Perceived health benefits relative to regular yogurt • The more substantial, thick and creamy texture Health Benefits mentioned by consumers: • Low or no fat, low saturated fat • Less sugar/carbohydrates than regular yogurt • Higher protein Price vs. brand Consumers commented on the higher price per unit of Greek-style yogurt and mentioned that they will often switch brands if one is on sale. Respondents also mentioned that the flavor selection was not as wide, so they will occasionally switch to regular yogurt for a favorite flavor or as a healthy dessert. Summary Consumers purchase and eat Greek-style yogurt for its positive healthful properties, its rich, creamy, satisfying texture and its overall wholesomeness — no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Consumers continue to be price aware and conscious, and look for discounts (Table 1). • Low sodium content • Probiotics/aids digestion/immune health • Low calories Feedback on how eating Greek-style yogurt make consumers feel: • Full/satisfied, without the guilt • Healthy/rejuvenated/better for you • Indulgent but with something that is good for me Expert descriptive sensory panel evaluation of Greek-style yogurt texture • “With It,” trendy When they eat Greek-style yogurt Consumers use and eat Greek-style yogurt for various occasions throughout the day: breakfast or in a smoothie, as a snack, for lunch alone or alongside a sandwich, in Since texture was noted as a major determinant of Greekstyle yogurt selection, Ingredion wanted to learn more about the textural attributes of Greek-style yogurts, and the textural similarities and differences of the leading Greek-style yogurts on the market. Table 2: TEXICON™ utilized to characterize Greek-style Yogurt: Attribute Definition Appearance Surface Shine The degree to which the product reflects light Surface Grain (In Container) The amount of particles which can be seen in the surface of the product Cracking/Breaking The cracking or breaking of the product as it is spooned out of the container Spoon Indentation The indentation made by the spoon in the sample Jiggle The gelatin-like appearance of the product on the spoon/the movement of the sample on the spoon up and down in an unsteady manner Surface Grain (On Spoon) The amount of particles which can be seen on the surface of the product when viewed on the back of a spoon Viscosity The force required to move the spoon thought the material Rate of Flow How fast the material flows off the bowl of the spoon Texture by Hand Manipulation In-Mouth Texture Firmness (Before Stirring) The force required to compress the product before it is stirred Firmness (After Stirring) The force required to compress the product after it is stirred Cohesiveness The amount of deformation/stringing rather than shear/cut or rupture Evenness of Mouthcoating Extent to which the samples evenly spreads over the palate during the manipulation Slipperiness Ease to slide tongue under product Meltaway The rate at which a sample dissolves or melts in the mouth Immediate Residual Texture Total Residual Mouthcoating The amount of residue left on the mouth surfaces after swallowing pg 3 Figure 1: T EXICON – Translating Consumer terms whereas others were less viscous but more gelled, and when eaten tended to meltaway faster. Some were more visual while others were very smooth and shiny. into precise, quantifiable sensory and rheological terms Those that were produced via straining tended to be dull, visually grainy, tended to crack/break, had low spoon indent, were firmer and very adhesive to the palate, with a chalky residual after swallowing. Those produced via formulation were shiny, smoother, tended not to crack or break, had higher jiggle and spoon indentation, were softer, more slippery and melted quickly. However, some formulated Greek-style yogurts had an astringent/drying residual remaining, which is due to powdered milk protein sources. Blending flavor into these yogurts tended to minimize the powdery residual and any protein aftertaste (Figure 2). Production challenges for manufacturers Prior to the entrance of Greek yogurt into the market, the majority of the U.S. yogurt market was based on stirred or blended yogurt. As Greek yogurt consumption started to boom, more brands and manufacturers wanted to produce this higher value product. As most U.S. yogurt processors utilize a HTST stirred yogurt process, they would have to invest capital in straining equipment in order to make Greek yogurt the traditional way. This cost could range from $2M-$10M, depending on the extent of the additional capacity, lines and storage tanks needed. Alternatively, they could outsource production to a co-packer that had straining equipment; however, excess co-packing capacity was diminishing as Greek yogurt experienced its exponential growth, and new capacity has been slow to appear. Methodology The company employed its trained expert descriptive sensory panel in Bridgewater, NJ to evaluate nine Greek-style yogurt samples on the market, all vanilla flavored, most strained but some formulated, and characterized each one by 14 different textural attributes using our TEXICON™ for yogurts (Table 2). TEXICON™ is Ingredion’s food texture language that translates the consumer experience of a product’s texture into precise, measurable, scientific terms that allow food formulators and manufacturers to target and achieve the desired texture, quality and eating experience in their end product (Figure 1). In addition, the company supFigure 2: Texture Map of Eight Greek-style Yogurt Products plemented the expert sensory description Evenness of mouthcoating panel data, with instrumental rheological Firmness (before stir) Surface shine analysis of these yogurts to compare to 4 Cohesiveness Spoon indentation the sensory panel information. Firmness (after stir) Slipperiness Texture mapping Nine Greek-style yogurt products were evaluated for 14 attributes, and plotted relative to each other with statistical Principle Component Analysis (PCA) tools so we could compare their similarities and differences. From this set of sensory data, Ingredion found that the nine Greek-style yogurts had very different textures and eating experiences. They ranged in viscosity, firmness and gel properties (jiggle, spoon indentation). Some products were thick, firm, had high mouthcoating and a slow meltaway, pg 4 Viscosity 2 8 9 6 Jiggle 7 5 1 Total residual mouthcoating 3 Meltaway Surface grain (spoon) Surface grain (container) Attribute Non-fat Rate of flow Branded strained Greek yogurt product Private label strained Greek yogurt product Branded formulated Greek-style yogurt product Figure 3: Formulated Greek-style Yogurt Manufacturing process Fermentation Final heater Mixing tanks TC Initial heater TC Cooler TC TC Final cooler TC Homogenizer Product pump TC TC An alternative, cost-effective production approach Greek-style yogurt Hold tube P TC TC TC TC TC TC Recognizing an opportunity, the application scientists at Ingredion utilized DIAL-IN® Texture Technology to devise an approach to building the desired Greek-style yogurt texture without straining (Figure 3). DIAL-IN® Texture Technology is a robust, data-driven approach that combines consumer insights, sensory evaluation and instrumental data, process understanding and formulation expertise to deliver the desired and targeted texture and eating experience in the end product, in a fraction of time (Figure 4). interest, but must be screened to prevent any cheesy off tastes. Finally, too much NFDM in a formulation can lead to a very sweet taste and high solids formulation. Different milk sources and batch-to-batch variability should be taken into consideration when selecting a dairy protein supplier. One key finding is that blending liquid condensed skim milk into a Greek-style yogurt formulation, and reducing the amount of MPC used, can help attain the desired protein level and help minimize the protein off-notes and/ or astringency. Selecting the best milk protein sources Developing an optimized texture system When making Greek-style yogurt by the formulation approach, the selection and hydration of the milk protein sources is critical. The company evaluated a range of milk protein concentrates (MPC), whey protein concentrates and isolates (WPC, WPI) and NFDM. MPC 85 is the most efficient ingredient to attain the desired protein content; however, it must be hydrated properly to avoid negative and undesirable off-tastes. Several specialty WPC are of Even though Greek-style yogurt is high in protein, just having the targeted level of protein is not enough to deliver the desired thick, rich and creamy Greek-style yogurt texture. NOVATION® Indulge 3320 texture system was developed to deliver the right balance of thickness and creaminess, by optimizing degree of the key textural attributes such as oral viscosity, mouth-coating, meltaway and ‘degree of set.’ Figure 4: DIAL-IN® Texture Technology Approach Schematic Processing recommendations In addition to the normal blended yogurt production, it is important to add a few additional steps in order to arrive at the desired Greek-style yogurt texture in the end product. First, Ingredion suggests hydrating the milk protein powders prior to addition to the batch tanks. This can be done by heating and stirring in a surge tank or by allowing the pg 5 protein powders to soak overnight. Upstream homogenization processing is also suggested, where the homogenization is done after the pre-heat step, and before pasteurization for maximum functionality from the texture system (i.e. NOVATION® Indulge 3320). Finally, after culturing and cooling, a final smoothing step is recommended to enhance the smoothness and improve shine. This can be done through the use of smoothing disks, smoothing valves, and in the case of very high protein yogurts (>10%), through the use of smoothing homogenizers or pumps. Table 3: Formulation recommendations Wholesome Greek-style Yogurt White Mass 0% Fat Achieving the texture solution Skim Milk Ingredion was able to achieve a similar texture and eating experience to the market leading product, with a product made on a conventional HTST stirred process, without the need to invest in additional capital. With the company’s texture system (NOVATION® Indulge 3320) and formulation and process advice, customers can get to market faster, and produce product at a lower overall cost. The resultant texture of the formulated product is very similar to that of the strained product when it is evaluated by the Expert Trained Panel, using the same TEXICON (Figure 5). NOVATION® Indulge 3320 TOTAL Surface grain (in container) Meltaway Jiggle Slipperiness Surface grain Firmness (before stir) Evenness of mouthcoating Cohesiveness Viscosity (stir) Thickness in the mouth Rate of flow Firmness (after stir) pg 6 100.00% *Protein content can be made higher or lower to customer specifications. Spoon indentation Total residual mouthcoating 2.51% Ingredients: cultured skim milk, milk protein, concentrate, maltodextrin, tapioca starch compared to that of a market strained product Shine * Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) 85 4.85% Figure 5: C omparison of a formulated Greek-style Product Chalkiness 92.64% Corn Products and National Starch are now Ingredion. Ingredion Incorporated 5 Westbrook Corporate Center Westchester, IL 60154 1-866-961-6285 | ingredion.us/specialties The information described above is offered solely for your consideration, investigation, and independent verification. It is up to you to decide whether and how to use this information. 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