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Flavored Milk

An Introduction
The beverage industry is jumping on the milk train. Flavored, sugared, even carbonated, the dairy drink is being dressed up to make it the cool, more healthful alternative to other beverage products. With consumers slowly but surely moving away from carbonated soft drinks to healthier options, the staid Rs 300-crore ready-to-drink (RTD) flavored milk market has suddenly become the flavor of the season. The push to sell flavored milk comes during growing concerns about obesity and unhealthy eating, particularly in the case of children, where the incidence of obesity has more than doubled since 1970. For kids who hate milk, the discovery of the newfangled flavors have proved to be a ' real mouth-opener'.

Globally flavored milk is among the fastest-growing dairy sectors particularly in mature markets. This reflects the steady shift of consumers - across all age groups - from synthetic drinks to real and nutritional drinks all over the world.

One may attribute the growing sales of flavored milk to the advent of single-serve, resealable plastic bottles or tetra packs which not only make milk more convenient for consumers, but are also easier for distributors to ship. These packages have extended the product's shelf life, and some types allow the product to be transported in non-refrigerated trucks before the milk is chilled in the dairy aisle.
 

What is Flavored Milk?
Flavored milk is sweetened milk beverage with added sugar (sucrose or high fructose corn syrup), colorings and artificial or natural flavorings. Usually flavored milk products are pasteurized under ultra-high-temperature (UHT) treatment, which gives it a longer shelf-life than plain milk. It often consists of flavanols, acidulants, coloring agents, minerals, soluble fibers, non-caloric sweeteners, flavoring agents, preservatives, emulsifiers, oils, carbonation components, and the like, which also helps to enhance its self-life.

Pre-mixed flavored milk is sold in the refrigerated dairy case alongside other milk products. Flavored sweetened powders or syrups which are added to plain milk are also available. Flavoring can now be included in a straw, such as the Sipahh straw. Some flavored milk products are designed as dietary supplements, such as Blenders, Horlicks, Nestlé Milo, Ovaltineand Instant Breakfast drinks such as Up

& Go, usually include additional vitamins or minerals. Bottled spiced (masala) milk is a popular beverage in the Indian subcontinent. Other companies provide flavored beverages.

Flavored milks are available in whole to nonfat varieties, but growth in flavored milk sales during the past decade has been predominantly in reduced, low, and nonfat varieties.

 
Masala Milk
Spiced Milk/ Masala Milk is a specialty of the Indian sub-continent. The already rich milk is made richer by constantly simmering the milk to a thick consistency and then serving it deliciously with a topping of nuts, cardamom and saffron. Actually, a meal by itself, but then Madurai can make easy gluttons of one and all.
 

Production of Flavored Milk
The making of flavored milk comprises of the following procedure:-

  • The milk intended for flavored milk is tested and standardized for milk fat and SNF contents
  • The amount of sugar, flavor and color required for the preparation of the given quantity of flavored milk is calculated
  • All the ingredients are weighed separately
  • The standardized milk is taken into the vat and heated to a temperature to 60°C
  • Sugar is added to the milk at the rate of 7-9% and dissolved it completely before filtering.
  • Then it is homogenized in a two-stage homogenizer at 60°C.
  • The milk is pasteurized at the standard pasteurization temperature-time combination (80°C for 5 minutes or 65°C for 10 minutes). The combination selected will vary with nature of the ingredients and the characteristics of the processing vessel. After heating the product is immediately cooled to below 5°C.
  • The required amount of flavor (rose, banana, orange, pineapple, etc) and matching color depending on the requirements is added and mixed well with the plunger.
  • The flavored milk is filled in the cleaned glass bottles and stored at 5°C till consumed.
 

Nutritional Value of Flavored Milk
It is an universally acknowledged fact that children hate to drink milk. Flavored milk can make a difference in the children's daily consumption of milk. Like all milk, flavored milk is a rich source of calcium, protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, phosphorus, riboflavin, potassium and niacin. Milk's nutrients, especially calcium, are necessary for developing strong bones and teeth. Each 8-ounce serving of white or flavored milk provides 300 mg of calcium, about one-third to one-fourth of children's daily calcium requirement.

Popular Flavors Available in the Market

Favored milks are being sold in creative packaging, helping to attract new consumers to the dairy aisle. Traditionally, the most popular

flavors have been chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, coffee and banana. Black raspberry, blueberry, root beer, cappuccino, and coffee, are also available. Chocolate milk, however, has long been the most popular flavored milk consumed.

 

Indian Market
Many schools and hospitals in India have taken off colas from their canteens in the wake of the pesticides controversy are still to put them back again. Instead, flavored milk drinks which have become cheaper due to increasing volume sales are being preferred by student and hospital patients.

Opportunities for the Flavored Milk Industry

  • Reestablish milk, including flavored milk, as the beverage choice among children.
  • Make flavored milk easily available in schools
  • Develop and promote competitive flavored milks that are embraced by kids and recommended by moms, school leaders and health professionals
  • Evaluate the local school environment, taking into consideration attitudes about types and levels of sweeteners, fat levels and serving sizes
  • Develop reduced-sugar flavored milk options for use in schools
  • Consider sugar as the first sweetener option for flavored milk innovations.
 
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