WhiteWave seeks to patent ‘light milk’

By Maggie Hennessy

- Last updated on GMT

WhiteWave seeks to patent ‘light milk’

Related tags Milk

WhiteWave Services Inc. has filed a patent application for ‘light milk,’ a lower-calorie alternative to skim milk without a watered-down flavor and mouthfeel.

The benefits of regular milk consumption are no secret—it’s great source of calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and protein, among other nutrients. Consumers concerned about calorie intake have long opted for skim milk, which typically contains 80 to 90 calories per eight-ounce serving. But in a patent application published on Aug. 29, WhiteWave points out that “conventional low-calorie milks may have a watered-down flavor and mouthfeel that consumers do not enjoy.”​ 

Light milk aims to provide similar nutritive benefits while also solving common problems associated with conventional low-calorie milks. 

“Light milk may include any suitable combination of ingredients,”​ it said. One example incorporates skim milk as a source of protein and dairy flavor; filtered water for dilution and calorie reduction; and a list of “accentuating ingredients”​ including milk protein isolate, whole milk powder, nutritive sweeteners and bulking agents (fructose, sucrose, and/or maltodextrin), dairy-based powder and/or other characterizing flavors of dairy, stabilizers (carrageenan and gellan gum), buffering agents (e.g., buffering salts), and whitener.

“The milk protein isolate and whole milk powder provide protein and impart dairy flavor, color, and mouthfeel,”​ WhiteWave noted. “The nutritive sweeteners and bulking agents provide sweetness and enhance appearance and mouthfeel. The stabilizers provide mouthfeel similar to skim milk and suspension of solids. The buffering agents protect the protein and the product stability during processing. The light milk may include additional ingredients to enhance appearance, flavor, and/or nutritional profile. Such ingredients may include salt, colorants, dietary fiber, and added vitamins and minerals.” 

Light milk was invented by Stepen McCready and Emily Marie Darchuk, and the patent was initially filed on Feb. 24, 2012. WhiteWave declined to confirm whether it has begun commercializing the product.

Dallas, TX-based WhiteWave Services is a subsidiary of WhiteWave Foods.

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