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Dry technology improves taste of milk- and dairy-based products.

Milk-based products are susceptible to off-flavors when they are exposed to the ultraviolet or fluorescent light in store display cases. The off-flavors--light activated or sun-struck flavors--can be caused by either a lipid oxidation or a riboflavin-catalyzed degradation of amino acids in the milk, made possible by the photo-oxidation of methionine to methional.

Typical dairy product packaging, including HDPE systems used in translucent milk jugs, cardboard and plastic-glass systems with shrink sleeves, do little to keep light out of the product and prevent the problem. Current efforts to address the issue include specialized protective packaging or the inclusion of certain antioxidants, such as ascorbic acid.

The protective packaging approach, which uses highly pigmented containers and sometimes includes built-in UV barriers, often restricts container and graphics flexibility and can add significant costs. The antioxidant approach may have limited effectiveness and can, at times, introduce additional off-flavors.

WILD Flavors has developed a patent-pending, ingredient-based technology called LightShield[R] that prevents the formation of off-flavors in dairy products caused by exposure to light. The technology can be used in both high- and low-acid products, and offers flexibility over protective packaging, allowing manufacturers to use any form of packaging for their dairy-based products.

LightShield technology is based on a blend of ingredients that minimizes light-activated reactions, reducing the development of light-activated flavors in milk-based items. LightShield technology allows processors to extend flavor shelf life in milk-based and dairy-based products, while allowing the customer more variety in packaging options.

LightShield's powder is water-soluble, heat-stable and effective in both high- and low-acid products. It does not contribute any flavor or alter end-product attributes, such as texture. LightShield is also kosherable and is 95/5 organic-compliant. Useful in a wide range of applications, the technology entails a blend of components for specific dairy products including yogurt, smoothies, cottage cheese, sour cream, fluid milk, flavored milk, and milk and juice beverages.

In a study involving a dairy and juice drink, unacceptable notes were detected after about one week in the control, while the sample made with LightShield was still satisfactory at 60 days.

Further information. Jeffrey Foss, WILD Flavors Inc., 1261 Pacific Ave., Erlanger, KY 41018; phone: 859-342-3600; fax: 859-342-3610; email: URL:
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Publication:Emerging Food R&D Report
Date:May 1, 2007
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