New lactic acid bacteria create natural sweetness in yogurt

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at DTU have developed a yogurt bacterium, which can cleave lactose in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. This makes it possible to create natural sweetness in yogurt with less added sugar.

Yogurt without added is a relatively sour experience. Often fruit or berries are added to improve taste, and sugar or sweeteners are added to increase sweetness. However, consumers are increasingly demanding natural foods with less added sugar.

To meet this demand researchers from DTU National Food Institute have developed a new and natural way to cleave the sugar, which relies on safe . The developed lactic acid bacteria create natural sweetness in the , thus reducing the need for added sugar.

Lactic acid bacteria with lactase can break down milk sugar

Yogurt is fermented milk, and milk naturally contains around 50 grams sugar (lactose) per liter. Milk sugar is characterized by its low sweetness, but by breaking down lactose with enzymes, more sweet sugars (glucose and galactose) are released. By breaking down 70% of the lactose in milk, the sweetness can be increased what corresponds to 20 grams per liter of regular sugar.

Commercially available lactase enzymes currently used for breaking down in , are made using microorganisms, which involves, a tedious and costly purification process. Furthermore, transportation from the manufacturer site to the dairy adds to the costs.

With the solution that the DTU researchers have developed, the lactic acid bacteria-based lactase can be grown and used directly at the dairy, and in the milk that ends up being yogurt. In this way the costs for purchasing the lactase and transportation are reduced,

The solution has been tested by a large Danish dairy, and the study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

More information: Belay Tilahun Tadesse et al, Consolidated Bioprocessing in a Dairy Setting─Concurrent Yoghurt Fermentation and Lactose Hydrolysis without Using Lactase Enzymes, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.2c04191

Citation: New lactic acid bacteria create natural sweetness in yogurt (2022, September 15) retrieved 2 March 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Researchers reduce sugar content of yogurt without reducing sweetness


Feedback to editors