Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - North AmericaEU edition | APAC edition

News > R&D

Read more breaking news



DRI president leads 2012 dairy charge to spotlight ‘total nutrient package’

By Ben Bouckley , 18-Jan-2012
Last updated on 18-Jan-2012 at 16:20 GMT2012-01-18T16:20:30Z

We asked DRI president Gregory Miller what key challenges – both in terms of research and communication – he foresaw in 2012. Tune into our exclusive podcast to learn more…
We asked DRI president Gregory Miller what key challenges – both in terms of research and communication – he foresaw in 2012. Tune into our exclusive podcast to learn more…
Loading the player...

Reflecting on a successful last year in research terms, US Dairy Research Institute (DRI) president Gregory Miller told Dairy about the key challenges facing the industry in 2012.

Asked how he would respond to those consumers who believed that dairy products added cholesterol and fat to the diet, and also gave rise to allergy concerns, Miller (pictured) said:

“I think the image of dairy products is that they are healthy nutrient rich foods that can be part of a healthy diet. But some activist groups have led the charge to put out what I would say is misinformation on dairy products.

“But total US dairy consumption has increased over the last few years. We’re at about 1.7 servings consumed per person per day in the US right now.”

Pushing beyond calcium

Consumers worldwide made a connection between dairy products, calcium content and bone health, but did Miller agree more needed to be done to raise awareness of other benefits?

“I think the dairy industry has done a really good job globally at promoting the benefits of calcium in our diets. We need to do a better job talking about the total nutrient package dairy delivers,” he said.

“There’s calcium plus eight other essential nutrients that dairy is considered a good source of. So the dairy industry has to help consumers really understand that it’s a nutrient rich food, and the cost of dairy relative to other nutrient sources is also very good.

“You’re getting great nutritional quality at a pretty low cost, and a lot of health benefits. And they’re going to be benefits to consumers in healthcare arena too. Because adequate consumption of dairy can reduce the number of chronic diseases and the associated healthcare costs.”

One such disease is Type 2 diabetes: “Earlier this year the CDC [Centers for Disease Control] sounded the alarm on Type 2 diabetes, being the next major epidemic that’s going to hit on a global basis. This naturally relates to the obesity epidemic that’s already out there,” said Miller.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Discussing a paper by Tong et al. (2011), Miller said it suggested that dairy was not part of the problem relating to increased Type 2 diabetes risk, but could instead be part of the solution, since higher dairy consumers were at lower risk of developing the illness.

After a systematic review of seven prospective studies , the researchers found that, for every additional dairy serving consumed daily, the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes fell by 6%.

Miller said exciting recent research-related events included the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans last January, which recognised that milk and milk product consumption reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), Type 2 diabetes and lowered blood pressure.

Miller said: “This was huge recognition from the scientific community, regulatory agencies that dairy foods should be consumed more rather than less to reduce your risk of heart disease. I think this was a paradigm shift in thinking within the scientific community around dairy foods.

“Also, recognition that milk fat not equal to saturated fat in terms of its potential impact on blood cholesterol and subsequent risk of heart disease. In the scientific community now, there’s a recognition that milk fat is not linked to CVD. Regardless of its milk fat content, dairy reduces your risk of heart disease.

Miller added: “They’re still recommending low fat and fat-free because of the caloric density issue, and what we need to do as researchers is look at benefits of milk fat consumption – bioactive components like Conjugated linoleic Acids (CLAs) their potential impact on heart disease and cancer reduction, and other bioactive lipids.

"We need to show that milk fat consumption does have benefits, move health professionals to say that ‘some traditional whole milk products can be part of a total diet, and it’s about the total diet over time'."

2012 research directions

Asked about research directions in 2012, Miller said: “I think you’ll continue to see more research around the benefits of dairy consumption in reducing risk of type 2 diabetes and issues relating to metabolic syndrome.

“If you have high triglycerides [fats found in the blood] abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, you’re at greater risk of heart disease, and we need to show that greater dairy consumption reduces risk of metabolic syndrome.

He added: “I also think you’ll see a greater focus on milk fat, and better communication on fact that it is neutral to beneficial in terms of heart disease risk. That’s really important, because for our industry you can’t really make a good tasting low-fat cheese, for instance."

2011 research also unearthed applications for dairy co-products such as whey, and Miller hailed work suggesting that whey permeates could be used to replace salt as a “serendipitous discovery”.

He said: “We were doing research to use whey permeates as additional compounds in making biscuits. When we used the permeates in products they tasted too salty. So we had to reduce salt levels, and this triggered the idea of using this as a salt replacer.

“Subsequent research has shown that these permeates can be used in soups, biscuits, bread products, and we’re really excited about that. Taking what could be seen as a byproduct, and turning it into a value-added product that the industry will be able to make some money from.”

To learn more about the DRI and its 2011 research findings, click here .

Related products

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Hummustir navigates potentail of DIY food trend

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Hummustir navigates market potential of DIY food trend

As recently as 15 years ago, most Americans had never heard of hummus, or...

Soup-To-Nuts: The evolution of local food to do-it-yourself options

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The evolution of local food to do-it-yourself options

Consumer demand for local food and beverages is no longer a niche market –...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:The rise & future potential of grass fed claims

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast:The rise & future potential of grass fed claims

Grass-fed claims on products are a beacon for consumers who are health-conscious, want minimally...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What does it take to boost seafood consumption?

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: What does it take to drive up seafood consumption in the US?

Seafood checks many of today’s on-trend boxes, including being high in lean protein and...

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: What is old is new again

Soup-To-Nuts podcast: What is old is new again

Trends may come and go, but they often don't stay gone forever -- rather...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Meeting sodium sugar & calorie reduction demands

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How can manufacturers meet sodium, sugar & calorie reduction demands?

Finding solutions to reduce sodium, sugar and calories in finished products is essential as...

The rise of ‘ethical claims’ and their marketing potential

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: The rise of ‘ethical claims’ and their marketing potential across categories

Consumer demand for products and companies that “do good” – such as donate a...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Consumers' evolving taste for chocolate

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: How is consumer interest in health reshaping how they choose chocolate?

Consumers’ increasing demand for healthier options is reshaping the competitive landscape across categories –...

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Five trends spotted at Summer Fancy Food Show

Soup-To-Nuts Podcast: Five trends spotted at Summer Fancy Food Show

With thousands of startups, innovators and established brands packed into one convention center, the...

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: What GMOs are & how they impact health & Earth

Soup-to-Nuts Podcast: What are GMOs and how do they impact the health of humans and Earth?

With the effective date for Vermont’s GMO labeling law officially here and the debate...

Vox Pop: Consumers had this to say about GMO labeling...

Vox Pop: Consumers had this to say about GMO labeling...

On the heels of President Barack Obama signing into law a federal bill requiring...

Gluten-free products evolve as more nutritious, flavorful

Gluten-free products are evolving to be more nutritious, flavorful, Firebird Artisan Mills says

The gluten free market in the US remains hot, but as the category becomes...

Fiber helps cut sugar, calories; preserve taste, satiety, clean label

Fiber rises on ability to cut sugar & calories while preserving taste, satiety and clean label

While fiber hasn’t quite reached the same superstar status as protein, consumer interest in...

LovePulses Showcase highlights pulse versatility at IFT

More than just beans: Finalists from all corners of the world share their pulse innovations at IFT

An energy bar, jam, and even gelato—these aren’t food items often associated with pulses...

TerraVia CEO talks algae at IFT: We have disruptive products

TerraVia CEO: Thrive culinary algae oil could be a sizeable consumer brand

TerraVia – formerly known as Solazyme – has been telling reporters (and investors) that...

Sloan Trends at IFT: Moves away from fortification 'very troubling'

Sloan Trends: 'The move away from fortification is very troubling'

Manufacturers have been ‘cleaning up’ food labels for years, but the pressure to oust...

Dairy Permeate cuts sodium, costs & boosts nutrition, USDEC says

Dairy Permeate cuts manufacturing costs and sodium while boosting nutrition, USDEC says

Most Americans consume more than 1.5 times the daily recommended cap for sodium –...

Meeting consumer demand for ‘simple’ isn’t simple, Mintel says

Meeting consumer demand for ‘simple’ isn’t as simple as it appears, but it is possible, Mintel says

Consumers increasingly are seeking products that they are simple, with ingredients that they can...

Edible insects beyond whole cricket powder at IFT

Will the edible insects market move beyond whole cricket powder?

Milled whole cricket powder is probably the best known bug-derived food ingredient aside from...

Key Industry Events