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Protein beverages turn crystal-clear

Creating clear, high-protein RTD (Ready-to-Drink) beverages for sports consumers has certainly had its challenges. But, thanks to our emphasis on food science research, and the ability of one of the world’s most advanced whey processing facilities to produce extremely pure ingredients, Arla Foods Ingredients has created a solution for high-protein RTD beverages that makes developing products for this new market remarkably easy.

Change on the way

Whey protein, the preferred protein for sportspeople, has traditionally been difficult to add to beverages, presenting a variety of challenges including:

  • Turbidity – a gradual thickening and milky white appearance
  • Separation of the protein content from the rest of the liquid
  • Unpleasant taste, dryness in the mouth and varying texture

Manufacturers have tackled these challenges with opaque bottles instead of transparent ones, and by encouraging consumers to shake well before drinking.

The largely female, on-the-go consumer segment, however, is demanding high-protein RTDs that can no longer hide their shortcomings. Clear protein drinks in transparent bottles are now in the marketplace – but both their quality and the ease of producing for the new category can vary widely.

For the sports purist – and everyone else

We offer solutions for high-protein clear beverages containing 100% whey protein isolate or whey protein hydrolysate. Lacprodan® HYDRO.clear, for example, is a mildly hydrolysed, acidified whey protein specially developed for crystal-clear beverages. It ensures your RTDs will be crystal-clear, won’t become turbid, and won’t leave the mouth dry. Even when left on the shelf for extended periods, visible separation won’t occur. And with Lacprodan® HYDRO.clear in your beverage, you can easily increase protein content regardless of the pH level.

Clear advantages

It’s a combination no other manufacturer has achieved to date. Our proteins also overcome the potential weaknesses of high protein, such as protein taste, graininess and process concerns. You get a clear protein beverage that doesn’t add extra viscosity to your product. It’s robust for hot-fill bottling. And it won’t separate.

Our application specialists can work with you to select the right processing treatments, ingredients, and pH level. And we can help you to overcome the challenges of introducing a high level of protein to any beverage formulation – for both water-based and milk-based products, and for both pasteurization and UHT heat treatment.