The Challenges of Creating Soy-Based Milk Products
Anybody who has taken a trip through the dairy aisle of his or her local supermarket in the past several years knows that traditional milk products have taken a backseat to their numerous vegan alternatives. Whether it is because they are looking to harness the health benefits of soy-based products such as soymilk, soy yogurt, or even soy cheese or they are ethically opposed to eating products produced by animals, the use of soy in imitation milk products is increasing to the point where it rivals traditional dairy products with its prominence in the flavor industry.
However, flavorists face unique challenges when they are looking to create soy products. The first big challenge is working with the unique flavor of soy itself. While it does not have a strong flavor, soy has notes that can be off-putting to some consumers. Rather than mask these flavors, which has generally proven to be ineffective, it is up to a flavorist to find flavor ingredients that work with the product to make it more appealing to the mass market.
One of the first steps in enhancing soy-based milk products is utilizing creamy flavor ingredients to give it a more traditionally dairy flavor. Flavor ingredients such as Advanced Biotech’s Natural Acetoin Liquid and Natural Butyl Lactate are capable of creating these notes, which contributes to the overall “dairy” experience of these products.
After these flavor ingredients are used, flavorists can then go on to create the unique flavors for these types of products. While soy-based milk has been popular for a long while, and comes in a wide range of flavors including basics such as chocolate and vanilla as well as numerous specialty flavors, other vegan milk products created with soy are beginning to rise in popularity.
One of the biggest new markets is soy yogurts. As is the case with milk products created with soy, it is important for flavorists to first get right the unique flavor of yogurt itself. In addition to the main dairy or creamy components of these flavors, flavorists may utilize slightly sour notes in order to create the yogurt flavor that consumers expect when purchasing these products.
After that flavor has been created, they can then go on to create the custom yogurt flavors ranging from fruit flavors such as strawberry, banana, and berry to unique flavors such as Boston cream pie, coconut cake, or virtually anything else that can be imagined. However, they must continually think about the way that each ingredient they add will affect the overall flavor of the natural soy in the product. Additionally, flavorists might consider utilizing as many natural ingredients as possible, in keeping with consumer’s desires to live healthier lifestyles and eat healthier, all-natural food products.
While there are plenty of challenges for flavorists to consider, the rewards are well worth it. The soy industry is only expected to grow, with many more products such as ice cream expected to increase in popularity. Growth over the coming years will be exponential, providing new opportunities to flavorists.