Fish Oil Added to Yogurt May Help Consumers Meet Daily Nutritional Requirements

Potential market for savory, fish-oil fortified yogurts reported in the Journal of Dairy Science®

Amsterdam, March 28, 2012 – Many consumers want to increase their intake of heart-healthy n-3 fatty acids, found naturally in fish and fish products, but find it difficult to consume the levels recommended by the American Heart Association. Scientists at Virginia Tech have demonstrated that it may be possible to achieve the suggested daily intake in a single serving of a savory-flavored yogurt, providing an easily incorporated dietary source for these valuable fatty acids. Their work is detailed in the April issue of the Journal of Dairy Science

“The international popularity of yogurt and the health-promoting properties associated with probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and milk proteins suggest yogurt could be an excellent vehicle for the delivery of n-3 fatty acids,” says lead author Susan E. Duncan, PhD, Professor and Director of the Macromolecular Interfaces with Life Sciences Program, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech. “Recent innovations in exotic yogurt flavors provide innovation opportunities. We tested different levels of fish oil in a savory chili and lime flavored yogurt, and found that a 1% concentration of fish oil, which provides more than the suggested daily intake, could be acceptable to a large proportion of the general population, and have a potential market among health- and nutrition-conscious consumers.” 

In a preliminary study, tasters could not differentiate between low levels of fish and butter oils in unflavored yogurt, but they could discern yogurt flavored with oxidized fish oil, which has a strong fishy taste. A second panel underwent 6 hours of training so that they could accurately describe and measure lime, sweet, heat, acid, and oxidized flavor attributes. They found the fish flavor more pronounced than the lime and acid characteristics in a chili-lime flavored yogurt fortified with 1% oxidized fish oil, compared with yogurts containing .43% or 1% fresh fish oil. The oxidized flavor was higher in chili-lime yogurts containing oxidized fish oil and a high level (1%) of fresh fish oil. 

In a second study, 100 untrained consumers who were generally nutritionally motivated and aware of the health benefits of n-3 fatty acids evaluated the overall acceptance and flavor acceptance of chili lime yogurt enriched with butter oil or fish oil. Fifty percent of the tested group rated chili-lime flavored yogurt fortified with 1% butter oil or fish oil in the positive end of the scale (“liked extremely” to “neither liked nor disliked”). Thirty-nine percent reported they would be highly likely or likely to consume the chili-lime flavored yogurt on a regular basis. The low overall acceptance of the product by the remaining 50% of the tested group may be attributed to the chili-lime flavor or the lack of sweetness in the product.

These studies demonstrate the potential for consumption of the entire suggested daily intake of n-3 fatty acids in a single serving of savory-flavored yogurt, providing an alternative and easily incorporated dietary source of these heart-healthy fatty acids.

“Innovation of unsweetened, savory flavoring in combination with the powerful health functionality of n-3 fatty acids and dairy components is of interest to a large segment of the health- or nutrition-aware population. A potential market exists for this population,” Dr. Duncan concludes. 

 

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Notes for editors
"Consumer Perception and Sensory Effect of Oxidation in Savory-Flavored Yogurt Enriched with n-3 Lipids,” by M. Rognlien, S.E. Duncan, S.F. O’Keefe, and W.N. Eigel. Journal of Dairy Science, Volume 95, Issue 4 (April 2012), http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2011-5010, published by Elsevier.

Full text of the article is available to credentialed journalists upon request. Contact Verity Kerkhoff at +31 20 485 3310 or jdsmedia@elsevier.com to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to set up interviews with the authors should contact Susan E. Duncan at +1 540 231 8675 or duncans@vt.edu.

About the Journal of Dairy Science (JDS)
The official journal of the American Dairy Science Association, Journal of Dairy Science (JDS) is the leading general dairy research journal in the world. JDS readers represent education, industry, and government agencies in more than 70 countries with interests in biochemistry, breeding, economics, engineering, environment, food science, genetics, microbiology, nutrition, pathology, physiology, processing, public health, quality assurance, and sanitation. JDS has been ranked number 3 in the Agriculture, Dairy and Animal Science category of the Journal Citation Reports® 2010, published by Thomson Reuters, with an Impact Factor of 2.463.  www.journalofdairyscience.org

About The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA)
The American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) is an international organization of educators, scientists and industry representatives who are committed to advancing the dairy industry and keenly aware of the vital role the dairy sciences play in fulfilling the economic, nutritive, and health requirements of the world's population. It provides leadership in scientific and technical support to sustain and grow the global dairy industry through generation, dissemination, and exchange of information and services. Together, ADSA members have discovered new methods and technologies that have revolutionized the dairy industry. www.adsa.org

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.

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Media contacts
Verity C. Kerkhoff
Elsevier
+31 20 485 3310
jdsmedia@elsevier.com

Ken Olson, PhD, PAS
American Dairy Science Association®
+1 630 237 4961
keolson@prodigy.net