|Friday, 04 March, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]|
|Dr R B Smarta|
|We are all well aware that nutrition is essential for us to sustain growth and maintain good health. But nowadays everyone is talking about the influence of diet and nutrition in not just maintaining our health but also in fighting against diseases. The perception of food and nutrition has evolved over the years from just survival, hunger satisfaction, absence of adverse effects on health to its current emphasis on promoting better health and well-being, helping reduce risk of chronic diseases and so on.
Apart from this knowledge and awareness, consumers are looking for natural options than processed and prepared foods. Owing to this, there has been an increase in emergence of many new segments in the nutrition & wellness sector, also a lot of research is being carried out on natural ingredients and foods.
One such natural food which has been widely researched is ‘milk.’ Milk is the most basic food that we consume, right from our birth. It is considered as the nature’s perfect food since it has got the unique power to sustain life at all stages of development right from childhood to old age. The importance of milk has also been profoundly expressed in Charak Samhita as well as Atharva Ved.
Traditionally we all have been consuming milk in its pure form since ages but the scenario has now changed. Today we all are in need of increased nutrition to meet daily requirements as the foods that we otherwise consume are low in nutrition. With respect to this, there have been lot of innovations in milk and milk products changing the way that milk was represented earlier.
The increasing availability of milk and milk products has led to a lot of changes in the consumption pattern and basket of Indian consumers over the period of time. Now there are a number of variants of milk depending upon their composition or content. Consumers are more and more modifying their eating habits for health reasons. There is rising demand of consumers for more healthy variants of milk & milk products such as skimmed, low fat, double toned milk, high protein yogurt, products enriched with pre & probiotics and so on. The milk is processed in order to obtain these healthy variants. During processing, the essential nutrients from milk are lost thus to compensate for these lost nutrients, manufacturers fortify the milk with nutrients.
Functional components in milk
The macro & micro components of milk have the potential of being nutraceuticals themselves. Due to increasing awareness, the dairy benefits are understandable to the average consumer and dairy products available are affordable even with value-added benefits.
Applications of dairy Ingredients in nutraceuticals
The various applications of whey protein are represented below:
Use of milk in infant formulas
Milk is fortified for various reasons – Increase the Calcium content (using ultra filtration), avoid allergy problems (ß-lactoglobulin), improve the survival of probiotic bacteria for increased immunoprotection, protein standardisation-property leading to better utilisation of dairy products, increase marketability of dairy products and so on.
Use of milk in medical foods
Milk as a carrier for nutraceuticals & other bioactive ingredients