A range of functional ingredients solutions has been launched by Tate & Lyle, as it looks to capitalise on consumer demand for healthy yoghurts and dairy drinks.
The solutions are the first to be sold under Tate & Lyle's Enrich portfolio, which exists to help food and beverage makers add extra nutrients to products without losing taste.
The move by a firm of Tate & Lyle's stature reinforces recent market figures, which have shown strong growth for yoghurts, yoghurt drinks and smoothies as part of a consumer health shift.
Enrich focuses on three main themes - digestive health and immunity, obesity and weight management, and children's health.
The latter will be the target of Tate & Lyle's Yogurt Tube and Milk Drink Enrich formulas, which include fibre, calcium, proteins, vitamins, and optional omega-3 fatty acids and choline.
Milk Drink also qualifies as an excellent source of calcium, fibre and protein, the firm claimed.
Another solution, Yogurt Enrich, provides similarly excellent levels of selected vitamins and minerals associated with digestive health and immunity, including Vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, and zinc, it said. This formula also lend itself to probiotic or low fat product development.
Smoothie Enrich, which will only appear in the US, and Drinkable Yogurt Enrich slot into Tate & Lyle's obesity platform. Their main attribute, aside from an array of vitamins, is their high level of dairy protein and fibre, which are thought to aid satiety.
All the solutions may be adapted through Tate & Lyle's rapid prototype service, the company said.
Harvey Chimoff, marketing director for Tate & Lyle Americas, said: "People often do not have the time to prepare healthy nutritious meals but many are now looking beyond supplements to address specific health needs."
Yoghurt drinks were recently identified as the fastest growing food product in the world. Sales of functional dairy products, meanwhile, are set to rise 48 per cent in Western Europe and 37 per cent in the US up to 2010, according to market research group, Euromonitor.
Chimoff added: "Our consumer research also shows that there is a strong understanding of the inherent functional benefits of dairy, and consumers like the creamy, 'comforting' eating experience these products typically provide."