The market for probiotic drinks is booming, and clinical work with probiotics continues to provide support for their benefits. Yakult, from Japan, is the world's largest probiotic dairy beverage, followed by Actimel from Danone (81). The dividing line between yogurt and cultured milks is becoming thinner. Probiotic strains may become the sole fermenting agents in yogurt and fermented milk (82,83). Biogaia and Farm Produce Marketing Ltd. have signed an agreement to market and sell drinkable yogurt with Biogaia's delivery system Life Top™ straw. The straw will be attached to the side of the package and contains Lactobacillus reuteri (Reuteri TM) (84). Under the category of healthy and functional yogurts, new fruits and flavors are being offered (85). Some of these are:
Yogurt containing fruit pieces and flavors such as melon and pink grapefruit Yogurt with herbal extracts, ginger, green tea extract Yogurt with passionfruit enhanced with elderflower extract Strawberry/rhubarb fitness yogurt fortified with vitamins B, C, and E
There is a growing interest in offering premium and self-indulgent yogurts as desserts (85). Some of the creations listed include:
Bourbon vanilla Pear and butterscotch
Goat yogurts containing mandarin and ginger, lemon and lime zest, and summer berries
We have come a long way in the development of yogurt into a respectable dairy product with noted health benefits. Producers and marketers of this product are making every effort to keep the yogurt category growing through product development and packaging innovations while delivering a good-for-you flavorful product suited for all occasions of gastronomic indulgence.
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