Science & Research

Product Innovation: Cultured products

Research submissions

In order to keep the dairy industry strong, National Dairy Council® product research drives demand for dairy products and ingredients through the funding of pre-competitive nutrition and product research.

Learn about funding opportunities

Research on the use of different processes and ingredients helped advance the manufacturing of popular products, such as Greek yogurt, kefir and frozen smoothies, with higher protein concentrations.
Cultured products research drives development of new yogurt products and applications

Unique innovations drive growth

Portable and convenient cultured dairy foods are becoming quite popular for consumers. How popular? Yogurt sales in 2012 reached $50.9 billion worldwide. 

View the most recent technical insights and research below or log in and download the complete list of research projects in this area.

Published research

Delicious dairy smoothie
Understanding the perception of creaminess for developing lower-fat dairy products
Researchers used a consumer sensory study to understand how people detect creaminess in sour cream. Tasting and smelling milk fat flavors are interlinked. Consumers use both senses to identify creaminess, but milk fat flavor is the most important. This study will help the dairy industry understand how the creamy attribute can be used for lower-fat dairy products.
Consumers select flavor of sour cream before considering price and brand name
Researchers at the Southeast Dairy Foods Research Center at North Carolina State University conducted a large-scale sensory study on sour cream and found that flavor was the most important factor in purchase decisions, followed by price, availability and brand.
Fat content is the most important attribute for sour cream consumers
Investigators used two online market research tools to predict the amount consumers were willing to pay for certain features of sour cream. The data revealed that the most important criteria driving consumer purchasing decisions was the fat content, followed by price, then brand name.
Quantitative PCR method helps dairy processors improve yogurt quality
Investigators at Pennsylvania State University have developed a quantitative PCR (qPCR) test that allows manufacturers to monitor the strain balance in their yogurt. The strain balance determines the flavor, texture, fermentation time and other characteristics of the yogurt.
Review recommends using a combination of technologies to reduce the spread of bacteriophages in yogurt and cheese products
Bacteriophages (phage) are airborne viruses that kill starter cultures, resulting in failed batches of cheese or poor-quality dairy products but do not affect humans. Phages tolerate extreme heat and survive up to one year in dry powders that later may be incorporated into fermented products like yogurt. Researchers from the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany, say the best methods for removing dairy bacteriophages from fluid whey are to combine moderate heat (<70 C) with either membrane filtration or ultraviolet (UV) irradiation.