Innovative dairy ingredients for “on-the-go” finished products that cater to the expectations of modern consumers

With increasingly busy lifestyles, consumers are always on the lookout for convenience. However, most of them are not yet ready to sacrifice on taste or well-being, which makes it a priority for manufacturers to continuously innovate and offer “on-the-go” snack options that are both healthy and indulgent!

At FiE this year, Epi Ingredients (08.0H62), the dry ingredients division of dairy cooperative Laïta and one of the world’s dairy ingredients experts, decided to focus on its range of premium fermented powders EPILAC through it new application concept, SoFlexi.

Most consumers are now convinced of the health benefits stemming from the regular consumption of cultured products and specifically yoghurt. However, owing to its perishable nature, yoghurt in its traditional form has limited potential, especially when it comes to on-the-go options.

Additionally, some manufacturing processes might kill the bacteria and therefore eliminate the health benefits expected of yoghurt. Dry yoghurt ingredients containing live and active cultures can therefore be a great alternative for new developments carrying the healthful halo of yoghurt, delivering the same live cultures and nutrition as their traditional counterparts but without some of the hurdles of fresh yoghurt.

“With our EPILAC fermented powders, we can support manufacturers in the development of both shelf-stable and fresh products designed to cater to consumers who are always pressed for time and looking for convenient, “on-the-go” snack options that are both healthy and indulgent!”, explains Mathieu Lucot, Marketing Manager at Epi Ingredients.

The concept SoFlexi was designed to showcase possible applications of EPILAC fermented powders as well as to promote the use of “EPILAC Lowfat Yogurt Powder 48”. SoFlexi is a powdered mix that allows consumers to create fresh yogurt-tasting snacks at their convenience.

Whether they are in the mood for a drinking yoghurt, some ice cream or an acid drink, they can indulge almost instantly thanks to SoFlexi! However, the goal for Epi Ingredients is not to sell the concept. Their objective with SoFlexi it is to drive innovation and help their customers visualise what they can do with the company’s offering, all the way from bulk ingredients to actual CPG marketing.

EPILAC ingredients are a range of premium fermented powders (yoghurt powder, quark powder and fermented milk powder) with differentiating features such as, among others, the presence of live cultures in some of them. Thanks to the company’s milk transformation expertise combined with a unique know-how and a perfectly mastered manufacturing process, Epi Ingredients has the unique capability to dry blends of milk and live cultures, keeping them alive throughout the process and into the finished powder.

SoFlexi comes in individual pouches containing 40 g of a powdered mix made of only five ingredients and including EPILAC Lowfat Yogurt Powder 48. To cater to modern consumers who are always pressed for time and “on-the-go”, SoFlexi has been developed to allow quick and easy transformation into one of three following products: milk shake, instant drinking yoghurt or tasty acid drink.

Regardless of the chosen application, EPILAC Lowfat Yogurt Powder 48 brings natural acidity and a pleasant yoghurt flavour as well as a smooth creamy texture to the end product. Beyond these exclusive functional and sensory attributes, it also contains the same live bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus) as the ones found in yoghurt.

These are known to help balance the gut flora as well as strengthen the immune system, which makes it an interesting ingredient for the formulation of nutrition-oriented products.

The company will also showcase its offering in concentrated aromatic products at FIE. As of now, this range consists of two ingredients: a milk concentrate and a cream concentrate.

These products are 100% natural flavours (modified dairy ingredients) and contain no additives, no texturing agents and no preservatives. They are offered as a paste and help increase the creamy flavour as well as overall body and smoothness in a broad range of applications such as dressings, soups or food with a low-fat content, without negatively impact the ingredients list, as they are natural flavours.

With consumers constantly seeking both healthy and tasty food, Epi Ingredients’ concentrated aromatic products allow manufacturers to decrease the cream quantity used in a large range of applications while maintaining the rich and creamy taste of the original product. Concentrated aromatic products are therefore a solution for healthier finished goods that do not sacrifice texture or taste.

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