Dairy products have succeeded in riding the wave of various food trends worldwide. Overall, dairy producers have stayed ahead of the curve on increasing consumer demand for safer, more accessible products, capitalizing on their intrinsic bone and digestive health halo, and meeting market expectations for more protein and clean label goods with new product creation and innovation.
Consumers are much focused on the mainstreaming of protein not just on the nutritional value but also on the taste and feel of the food products they purchase. This forms a large part of the buying decision. Companies are concentrating on creating better-taste and textured ingredients in the wider variety of high-protein items consumers are searching for today, including ready-to-drink beverages (RTD) and bars.
What is dairy protein?
Dairy proteins are an essential part of dairy products but also one of the food industry’s most commonly used proteins. Milk contains two protein types: whey (20%), and casein (80%). According to science-based rating scales, both are high-quality proteins and both contain all important amino acids in amounts adequate to serve the various protein functions in the body.
Types of dairy protein products:
Whey proteins make up around 20 per cent of the proteins in milk and remain stored in the whey throughout the processing of cheese or casein. Whey Protein Powder is a whey concentrate that is produced by using ultra filtration to make whey concentrate reduced in lactose. This concentrate is further condensed by evaporation, followed by drying spray into a powder. Whey protein concentrate is available with 40-90 per cent whey proteins, also known as WPC.
Milk protein concentrate
Milk Protein Powder is a concentrate of skim milk that is processed by the use of ultra filtration to make skim concentrate reduced by lactose. This concentrate is further condensed by evaporation, followed by drying spray into a powder. Milk protein concentrate is available in 40-90 per cent milk protein, also known as MPC.
Casein and derivatives
Caseins are a dairy product made by drying up a curd to a powder. Casein production occurs by curdling and straining when rennet (leading to rennet casein) or an edible acidic material (leading to acid casein) is added. The curd is dried to casein powder, normally on a roller dryer or extruder. By reacting with a hydroxide such as sodium or calcium hydroxide, Caseinate is modified acid casein, which has excellent emulsifying capability.
Dairy protein uses:
Milk is a rich protein source — providing about 1 gram of the nutrient in each fluid ounce (30 ml), or 7.7 grams in each cup (240 ml). Milk proteins can be classified into two classes, based on their water solubility. Insoluble milk proteins are called casein, while whey proteins are classified as soluble proteins. All of these milk protein classes are considered high quality, with a high proportion of essential amino acids and better digestibility.
Epidemiological evidence suggests that the intake of dairy products is associated with a decrease in the prevalence of metabolic related disorders, whereas experimental studies have shown that dairy protein is a dietary component that can help prevent type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Poor metabolic health is a common feature of overweight, obesity, and aging, and is the cause to T2DM and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and a growing global health concern.
Food and beverages
Food and beverage manufacturers have integrated whey proteins into dressing and sauces, snack coatings such as popcorn or almonds, and regular customer favorite breakfast foods such as pancakes due to their wide variety of features.
Breakfast bakery products reflect an particularly valuable opportunity for dairy fortification. Usually breakfast foods contain less protein than lunch or dinner meals. Spreading protein more uniformly all day long optimizes the synthesis of the muscle proteins.
Most breakfast foods are also made from wheat, and wheat is low in essential amino acid lysine. A healthy source of lysine is both the milk and whey proteins. The supplementary nutrition helps fortified bakery goods producers to refine nutritional claims about the protein content of their products.
Personal care and cosmetics
In terms of beauty, the perks of dairy protein products often go overlooked from within claims. But it’s important to understand how the modern consumer demands play a role in this tried and tested source. Naturally, the dairy ingredients offer beauty benefits by vitamins, calcium and full proteins.
The proteins derived from dairy products, especially casein and whey, are also essential components for maintaining skin health. Casein indirectly improves the health of the skin by increasing the absorption of important minerals, such as calcium, when ingested. Casein makes up 80 percent of the milk protein, but is also isolated and marketed as a protein on its own. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity, whey protein is additionally beneficial to skin care by dietary intake.
What’s trending in the industry?
Growing demands for pleasant, fresh, interesting flavors among consumers, particularly the younger generation, are expected to impact innovations in dairy products. A recent NZMP study was reflective of adventurous consumption as global developments such as multiculturalism are opening up dairy opportunities.
Alcohol-infused ice creams, flavored butter, and spicy marinated cheese are only a couple of the kinds of flavor experiments we’ve seen so far this year in the dairy industry. With the plant-based alternative dairy protein industry is now rising exponentially, competition is higher than ever and dairy companies have to think beyond the box and experiment with flavors to stand out.
Consumers Drive High-Protein Dairy Trend
It’s easy to see why dairy processors turn to plants to give a protein boost to their products, despite all the positives. The challenge is settling on the right protein solution. Protein claims are based on whole proteins: those protein foods which contain all the essential amino acids that are needed. A “good” source contains five grams of complete protein, and 10 grams of “excellent” source. Many plant-sourced proteins, nevertheless, are incomplete proteins, indicating that they do not contain all the essential amino acids in the correct proportions. Protein digestibility considerations in determinations of protein content often further complicate the calculation.
Clean and Sustainable
Consumers associate dairy with being safe and the industry as a whole is forced to be involved in cleaning up labeling for dairy products. One such movement is for GMO-free milk and dairy products, part of the push toward clean labeling and organic foods and beverages.
This clean label supply of milk is rising worldwide due in part to renewed consumer interest in items such as grass-fed butter, a favorite among keto diet followers, popular in many parts of the world. The lack of E-numbers or food additives is another way in which dairy proteins help make dairy products healthier. By leveraging Kerry’s advanced dairy proteins, our scientists help customers extract some or all of the E-numbers from milk, ice cream, and other dairy products, such as carrageenan and guar gum.
Amid the ongoing trends, here’s what is bringing a slowdown to the dairy industry:
Coronavirus outbreak is causing a huge stir in the entire dairy supply chain. The effect on the dairy industry cannot be ignored because the future impacts on the global dairy product industry can not be ignored. Even the situation is dynamic. In an effort to curb the epidemic stricter road traffic restrictions are being used. This causes inter-provincial logistics disturbances across China, and even within provinces, impacting shipments of raw milk in different regions. Apparently, small and medium-sized farms are more impacted than large farms, leading to some milk dumping.
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To sum up
Dairy proteins are unique in their role to nutritionally attach to low protein food items. Dairy protein producers in North America are seeking ways to provide more choices for customers, and are creating innovative products that integrate dairy proteins into different snacks, baking mixes, drinks, sports nutrition products, and more. Whey protein-based products, for example, are increasingly being used in the sports nutrition market. It includes products like whey protein bars, powders, and drinks.