Troubleshooting Yogurt: Formulating for an “Indulgent” Texture
Yogurt’s increased popularity and the expansion of the types of products in the category has also increased the number of yogurt-related inquiries to our Gum Gurus®. Common questions about yogurt formulations include those related to balancing the textural changes that come with the use of organic ingredients, plant-based milks, or alternative manufacturing processes.
The growing trend towards “indulgent” yogurt texture
In yogurts, the growth of products with indulgent claims has outpaced the dairy category as a whole from 2012 to 2015. This category also includes organic yogurts, with almost 20% of products launched each year featuring this claim.1
1Taste & Indulgence in Dairy: Indulgent Innovation for differentiation. Innova Market Insights, July 2016.
But what exactly makes a yogurt “indulgent”?
What textural attributes must come together in order to give the consumer the perception of an “indulgent” yogurt? It can be difficult to describe this desired texture in a way that can be easily understood and acted upon by a formulator. For a situation like this, our Gum Gurus use our Food Texture Terminology to identify the textural attributes that are most important for the application and then use these attributes as a guide while formulating the new product.
In the case of yogurt texture, sensory attributes used to define “indulgent” are identified as:
“What are the benefits of using a mixture of gums as opposed to an individual gum in my yogurt formulation?”
Certain mixtures of gums are known to synergistically gel, meaning that the different chain polymers link together in a way that makes the gel stronger than would have been possible if only one individual gum was used. The optimum gel mixture is reliant on the ratios of the component gels. Whether the goal is to improve texture, reduce syneresis or both, the Gum Gurus have already invested the time to find the combinations of hydrocolloids to provide the desired functionality.
In this case, we have developed gum blends specifically formulated for and tested in yogurt products, including:
These hydrocolloid systems can be incorporated at different usage levels in order to meet desired formulation requirements. Some systems, depending upon the usage level, can make the same yogurt base into either a spoonable or a drinkable yogurt.
“I am not sure if my yogurt product will be drinkable, stirred, or cup set. Do I need to use a different stabilizer depending on what form of yogurt I am making?”
We provide texture and stability solutions optimized for use in certain forms of yogurt products:
“Are there alternative stabilizer offerings acceptable for use in organic yogurt products?”
Our dairy scientists have created blends with organic yogurts in mind that will add viscosity, density, and mouth coating ability:
“How will a fruit preparation influence my formulation?”
When a yogurt contains a fruit preparation it is first important to stabilize and prevent syneresis of the fruit preparations. For this purpose we recommend Caragum 300 2473.
With fruit preparations, another focus lies on protecting the milk protein from the acidity of the fruit mixture. Ticaloid® 780 can fulfill this purpose, as it reacts uniquely with dairy, while increasing viscosity and mouth coating.
“What are the pros and cons to using carrageenan in my yogurt formulation?”
Recently, carrageenan has been known to have a negative perception with consumers and is generally not seen as “clean label friendly”. However, due to its synergistic interaction with dairy proteins, carrageenan provides unique functionality in yogurt applications and a combination of hydrocolloids is often required to replace the multiple functionalities of this single ingredient. Our Gum Gurus can help you select a stabilizer that meets your texture, stability, and labeling goals.
Let the Gum Gurus help you with your food texture challenges
Download the white paper
The white paper titled "Creating an Indulgent Texture in Organic Yogurt" to learn how we identified the key texture attributes of indulgent yogurt and selected a stabilizer that modified those attributes.