Date Fiber in Yogurt

November 12/Journal of Farming -- According to a study from Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, "Yogurt is considered a healthy food and incorporating dietary fiber will make it even healthier. Date fiber (DF), a by-product of date syrup production, is a good source of dietary fiber."

"The effect of fortification with DF on fresh yogurt quality was investigated. Acidity, pH, color [L* (lightness), a* (redness) and b* (yellowness) values], texture profile, sensory properties and consumer acceptance were studied. Control yogurt (without fiber), yogurt fortified with 1.5, 3.0, and 4.5% DF, and yogurt with 1.5% wheat bran (WB) were prepared.

"Fortification with DF did not cause significant changes in yogurt acidity, although pH was increased. Yogurts fortified with DF had firmer texture (higher hardness values) and darker color (lower L* and higher a*) compared with control or WB yogurts. Consumer test results indicated that the appearance, color and flavor ratings were significantly affected by fiber fortification. Yogurt fortified with up to 3% DF had similar sourness, sweetness, firmness, smoothness and overall acceptance ratings as the control yogurt. Sensory ratings and acceptability of yogurt decreased significantly when increasing DF to 4.5% or using 1.5% WB. Flavoring yogurt fortified with 4.5% DF with vanilla did not improve flavor or overall acceptance ratings," wrote I.B. Hashim and colleagues, United Arab Emirates University.

The researchers concluded, "Thus, fortifying yogurt with 3% DF produced acceptable yogurt with beneficial health effects."

Hashim and colleagues published their study in the Journal of Dairy Science ("Quality Characteristics and Consumer Acceptance of Yogurt Fortified with Date Fiber." Journal of Dairy Science, 2009;92(11):5403-5407).

For more information, contact I.B. Hashim, United Arab Emirates University, College Food & Agriculture, Dept. of Food Science, POB 1755, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.

From the November 23, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition