Infusion of flowers and aromatic herbs in the development of fermented dairy products
The market for yoghurts and, generally, all fermented milk products, is closely linked to innovation. There is a very wide range of these products and they are undergoing a process of continuous change and development. Nowadays, at a variety of retail outlets, we can find fermented milk products with various textures, a wide range of flavours, products made with innovative ingredients and in customised packaging formats and sizes.
In recent years, the yoghurt market has also gained momentum in the artisan dairy sector. You can now easily find artisan yoghurts made with cow, sheep and goat milk in markets and retail outlets.
At the Leartiker Dairy Centre, we have carried out various projects to develop innovative fermented dairy products in recent years. One of these is the BEREZI project, which we are currently carrying out in conjunction with BELAZE, with the aim of developing yoghurts and other innovative fresh dairy products that offer new flavours and aromas by infusing them with flowers and aromatic herbs.
At the BELAZE ZAPOREAK farm in Elorrio, Berenice López and Markel Garaizabal set up a fresh dairy production plant just over a year ago. Using the milk produced by cows from the Fleckvieh breed, they currently produce soft cheese and yoghurts, but they have always been clear that they have to be committed to innovation, to allow them to broaden their range of products. Therefore, using the products developed by a traditional cheesemaker in Iparralde as a benchmark, they wanted to explore and analyse the possibility of producing yoghurts that are infused with flowers and aromatic herbs.
The results obtained in the production tests performed thus far in the Dairy Centre have been highly positive. By infusing milk with elderflowers, lemon verbena, peppermint, lemongrass and similar, they have managed to develop special, innovative yoghurts. This method makes it possible to enhance milk with new flavours by using natural ingredients, without having to use any other ingredients, while still preserving all of the milk’s nutritional value.
The following stage will involve adapting the production process for these products to suit BELAZE’s facilities and equipment and assessing whether infused yoghurts are likely to be well-received by the market. The results obtained in these two areas will be decisive in determining whether Berenice and Markel choose to market these new infused yoghurts.
We hope that this development project will offer a way to strengthen the artisan dairy sector. And, above all, we want all of these new products to be a bit hit in the BELAZE ZAPOREAK distribution network!