June is National Dairy Month and a new campaign by the Dairy Industry is to “Rethink the Drink” asking us to consume more dairy products such as low fat(105 calories per 8 oz serving) or nonfat milk(90 calories per 8oz serving). Sugary drinks like a cola(138 grams per 8oz serving) or a sweetened bottled tea(135 grams per 8 oz sering) are a primary source of additional refined sugar in our diets and worldwide obesity has increased by 82% in the past two decades and on average American consumes 100 pounds of sugar per year!! That breaks down to ¼ pound(113 grams of sugar) per person or 452 calories per day from refined sugar. Wow! Don’t you love numbers!! And when you think about it most canned or bottled beverages are either 12oz. (207 calories for a can) or 20 ozs (338 calories ) not an 8oz serving. We have been Super Sized!!
So why don’t we reach for serving of milk instead of a soda or a juice when we reach into our refrigerator or pick up a beverage at the convenience store? Milk is packed full of nutrients like Calcium and has a lot less sugar(as lactose), and we all know it is better for us than sugared drinks! I cannot speak for others, but unflavored low fat or fat free milk is not very appealing and have less pleasant texture and taste than flavored milks like chocolate which has the same or more caloric content as a regular soda. But there is an answer……..
Food ingredient marketers are studying ways of modifying the texture of fat free milk by adding a soluble fiber like acacia or cellulose gums resulting in a more appealing texture and taste while not increasing the milkfat content. School lunch programs and machine vendors can then provide this healthier alternative and make milks that appeal to kids without the milkfat and additonal calories. However, will a milk fortified with a fiber or coming in appealing flavors still be considered milk and will the dairy industry and consumers accept this type of product?
Contact one of us at SPI Group if you would like more information on dietary fiber.