New Hansen probiotic cultures target low-fat dairy

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Chr Hansen has launched two new probiotic cultures which it says allow manufacturers of low-fat yoghurt to add the healthy bacteria to their products while also maintaining a thick, creamy texture.

The firm’s BMY-1 and BMY-2 culture combinations are made with its documented probiotic strain BB-12.

The cultures, which add to Hansen’s existing culture combination line, are said to deliver good texture and flavour without the need to add high levels of fat and sugar.

Culture composition

According to Sarita Bairoliya, global marketing manager for Chr Hansen’s Probiotics, Cultures & Enzymes division, the culture composition is the key to obtaining these desired properties. The firm tested a number of different blends and bacteria levels before settling on the current composition, she told NutraIngredients.com this morning.

In internal trials conducted using the cultures, Bairoliya said the firm was able to produce a 0.5 per cent fat yoghurt with the same texture as a full fat yoghurt, which typically contains around 3 per cent fat.

Another test found a potential reduction in milk protein content, by reducing the level of skimmed milk powder without affecting the thickness of the product. A lab trial using a milk base of 0.5 per cent fat found a similar texture could be achieved using BMY-2 and half the amount of added skimmed milk powder, compared to ABY-10, which is currently one of Chr Hansen's culture blends with highest texture.

Sugar content can also be reduced because the cultures are mild and therefore deliver a less acidic flavour, that does not need to be counterbalanced with high sugar levels, explained Bairoliya.

Consumer trends

“We’re basically following the consumer trends our customers are telling us about. They want to be able to produce low fat yogurt without missing out on the taste or texture,”​ she said.

The culture composition also ensure that there is no negative impact on the survival of the probiotic strain, meaning the bacteria are delivered at sufficiently high levels to exert their benefit (daily dosage of 1 x 109 cfu).

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that, in adequate amounts, can help improve digestive health and enhance immunity.

Chr Hansen claims its BB-12 (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis​)​probiotic​is one of the most documented strains worldwide.

The firm has submitted a series of gut health-related claims to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) for review under the EU’s new nutrition and health claims regulation, and is now waiting on a response.

The new BMY-1 and BMY-2 cultures are being launched globally, and are currently being trialled by customers in Europe and South America.

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