Lowering Calorie Count in dairy

The most important factors for European consumers when purchasing yoghurts are low fat (29%), low sugar (28%) and low calorie (24%). Also a consumer research in five European countries, found that around 4 out of 10 consumers try to limit their calorie intake. With a broad target group including women, elderly and weight-conscious consumers, interested in low calorie products, manufacturers will be well placed for success if they can offer low calorie dairy products, while safeguarding taste and texture. 


Main challenges in calorie reduction

As with any product reformulation that involves cutting out sugar, the main challenges are to obtain the sweetness and body that is given by sugar, whilst reducing its use.  During recipe trials at the BENEO-Technology Center it was found that BENEO’s chicory root fibre (Orafti® Oligofructose) reduces sugar and provides a sugar-like sweetness and taste when used in dairy products. For example, sensorial evaluations have confirmed that oligofructose contributes to sweetness, mouthfeel, body and fruit flavour in sugar-reduced fruit yoghurt in a similar way to sugar and, at the same time, helps to reduce total sugars by 20% and added sugars by 35%.  Following a variety of trials, the best sugar reduced recipe formulation combined sugars, oligofructose and a sweetness enhancer whilst avoiding the use of any intense sweeteners.  


More benefits with chicory fibre in dairy

As well as having sugar-like sensorial and physical properties, oligofructose reduces blood glucose response and adds dietary fibre to a recipe formulation.  The composition of the BENEO-Technology Center fruit yoghurt test recipe reduced total sugars by more than 20% and ‘added’ sugars by 35% as a result of using oligofructose.  This natural fibre, obtained from using hot water extraction on chicory root, also significantly boosted fibre content in the product.  Depending on the BENEO ingredient used, dairy products with the company’s inulin or oligofructose are able to display the EU health claims “promotes digestive health” and “reduced blood glucose response” on pack. 


BENEO offers functional ingredients derived from chicory roots, beet sugar, rice and wheat. BENEO is the ideal partner to help improve a product in its nutritional and technological characteristics. Key nutritional benefits are ‘less fat’, ‘less sugar’, ‘less calories’, ‘added fibre’, ‘gluten-free’ and dairy alternatives as well as energy management, digestive, bone and dental health. Key technological benefits focus on taste and texture improvements. Through a unique chain of expertise, including the BENEO-Institute that provides decisive insights into nutrition science and legislation, and the BENEO-Technology Center that consults in application technology, BENEO actively supports customers in the development of more balanced and healthy food products.

BENEO is a division of the Südzucker Group, employs almost 900 people and has production units in Belgium, Chile, Germany and Italy. 


For further information on BENEO and its ingredients, please visit: and or follow BENEO on Twitter: @_BENEO or LinkedIn: 





The results of the sensory tests.



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