Fish oil added to yogurt may help consumers meet daily nutritional requirements

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 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, and Technology, Virginia Tech. "Recent innovations in exotic yogurt 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 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 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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fish fatty acids don’t make you cleverer or happier

Dec 22, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A diet rich in fish fatty acids has no effect on cognitive functions such as memory and concentration in the elderly. Nor does it affect their level of wellbeing. This is the conclusion drawn by Dutch researcher ...

In the future could Christmas dinner protect your heart?

Dec 21, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Eating turkey or other fowl in the future could lead to a healthier heart according to researchers from the University of Reading. Experts found that boosting the amount of omega-3 fatty acid ...

Recommended for you

Alcohol apps aimed at young

4 hours ago

Apps with names like 'Let's get Wasted!' and 'Drink Thin' have led a James Cook University Professor to call for Government action on alcohol advertising on mobile devices.

Proponent of the G spot takes on a critic

4 hours ago

Ashley Furin had a "very satisfying" sex life with her husband, she said. Then, seven years into their relationship, she had "an experience that rocked me to my core." They had found her G spot.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.