Several new dairy products unveiled recently underscore the ferment of innovation around health and wellness in the dairy industry.
More protein, more calcium
Skim Plus and Skim Plus Chocolate from Farmland Dairies, Fairlawn, N.J., are fortified with 37% more protein and 34% more calcium than non-fortified milk. The company’s Special Request 1% Plus with Omega-3 has the protein and calcium fortification and also contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Dairy built around omega-3
At Omega Farms, Hayward, Calif., fortification with omega-3 fatty acids is the raison d’etre. "Omega Farms was established in 2005 to bring to market a new line of dairy products with all-natural omega-3 fatty acids," the company said. The company offers whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk and chocolate milk fortified with 75 mgs of omega-3 derived from purified cod oil from fish in Norwegian Arctic waters. "Of obvious importance to consumers, the oil is 100% odorless and undetectable to the palate," the company said. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are promoted front and center by Omega Farms: "Research shows omega-3’s promote brain and eye development in infants and help the heart function," the company said. "The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.), says ‘supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.’ "
Looking for a good night’s sleep
A different dairy-related health benefit is promoted by Dreamerz Foods, Inc., a company established in late 2006 to introduce a line of natural sleep-inducing products. "Sleep-related problems are a growing and concerning issue in our culture — and there is a lack of efficacious and natural product options for people committed to pursuing a healthy lifestyle," said William Rosenzweig, chief executive officer of Brand New Brands and chairman of Dreamerz Foods’ board of directors. "Dreamerz Foods’ products offer an alternative to pharmaceuticals and use greattasting, natural foods to deliver safe, functional ingredients that produce scientifically proven benefits, so people can sleep well at night and wake up with energy and passion for life each day." Two active ingredients — lactium and melatonin — are incorporated in Dreamerz. Derived from dairy milk, lactium is a protein associated with relaxation and stress reduction. Melatonin is a hormone naturally secreted at night that helps cue the body to go to sleep. Known as "the sleep hormone," melatonin regulates your sleep and wake cycles. Dairy beverages with 100 calories per serving, Dreamerz have been introduced in three whimsically named varieties — vanilla van winkle (French vanilla), crème de la REM (dark chocolate mint) and chocolate snores (milk chocolate). Dreamerz is owned by Brand New Brands, a Mill Valley, Calif.-based venture capital incubator of health and wellness food and beverage companies.
Promoting satiety to avoid weight gain
A business established earlier by Brand New Brands was Lightfull Foods, a business developed in response to rising obesity rates. Lightfull’s beverages have been developed to induce satiety, the sensation of fullness. Its initial product line is the LightFull Satiety Smoothie, allnatural 90-calorie snack containing 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. LightFull smoothies are available in four varieties — chocolate fudge, café latte, peaches and cream and strawberries and cream. The products’s fiber content is part of what allows LightFull to help with satiety. "One way to estimate satiety is to add the grams of protein and fiber together, multiply by 100, and divide by the number of calories," the company said. "We call this the Fullness Index. The larger the number, the more fullness you get from each calorie."
Danone: Probiotics for children
At Groupe Danone, probiotics recently have been incorporated into the company’s Danimals drinkable yogurt. Branded "Now with LGG," Danimals contain lactobacillus GG, described by the company as "the most clinically researched culture in children with proven probiotic health benefits."
Sterols to lower blood cholesterol
Still another health benefit pursued in a new milk line is cholesterol reduction. Marketed by Promised Land Dairy Distribution, Inc., Your Ultimate Milk (or Y.U.M.) is described as the first milk in the United States that contains sterols, a natural plant extract, shown to have cholesterol reducing benefits. "Clinical studies suggest that plant sterols can reduce cholesterol 8% to 15% when part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol," Promised Land said.