Field of the invention
The invention relates to non-dairy creams which are emulsions
comprising a continuous aqueous phase and a dispersed fat phase. The aqueous phase
generally contains one or more milk components. The emulsion is generally stabilised
by emulsifiers and/or thickeners.
Background to the invention
Non-dairy creams are emulsions of a water continuous phase
and a dispersed fat phase, which is essentially based on vegetable fat. Non-dairy
creams are known in several physical forms such as whippable creams, pourable cooking
cream, spoonable cream.
Non-dairy creams have been developed with the aim to replace
the original dairy cream by a more healthy, and often less costly alternative. Fats
rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids are generally thought to contribute to an essential
part of a healthy diet. Dairy products which usually show a high butter fat content
are consumed at a lower rate since several decades whereby their consumption is
often "saved" for indulgence occasions. Therefore there is a long standing desire
for non-dairy creams to replace the dairy products whippable cream, creme fraiche,
cooking creams and the like. In the development of suitable replacements it was
found that the presence of proteins derived from dairy products contributes to a
great extent to the dairy connotation of non-dairy creams which are based on vegetable
EP-A-469656 discloses whippable non-dairy creams that have
a high content in liquid oils. The non-dairy cream according to EP-A-469656 comprises
a continuous aqueous phase containing one ore more milk components, preferably butter
milk powder (BMP) and thickeners and a fat phase comprising vegetable fat and an
emulsifier system, wherein the fat phase is composed of a liquid oil and a hard
fat such that the cream is whippable within 6 minutes when using a domestic whipper.
EP-A-540087 discloses a cream comprising about 10% fat,
skimmed milk, starch and a thickener. The resulting product shows the desired spoonable
EP -A-807385 discloses an alternative cream having a level
in the range of 0-35% which is pourable, stable at a pH in the range of 3.5-4.5,
heat stable and has good shelf life stability. As protein source butter milk powder
and whey protein concentrate are used, in addition yoghurt is used for acidifying
EP-A-540085 discloses stable spoonable non-dairy creams
comprising about 30% fat and butter milk powder which is acidified with a culture
EP-A-455288 and EP-A-540086 disclose that it is well known
to add some amount of buttermilk component to a non-dairy cream in order to improve
GB-A-1,134,837 relates to an improved process for the production
of a recombined whippable cream or cream-like product. The products are sweet creams
that comprise a mixture of buttermilk and skimmed milk ingredients at a preferred
ratio of 1-1. This document teaches that improved whipping ability is obtained by
addition of buttermilk and related ingredients. This document is silent about acidified
Products such as those according to EP-A-469656 and EP-A-455288,
which are based on butter milk powder, do show a high quality in terms of dairy
taste and flavour. However they were found to show a grainy or sandy mouthfeel when
used in certain non-dairy creams, especially in spoonable acidified non-dairy creams
such as creme fraiche alternatives. Furthermore butter milk powder when used in
high amounts may impart instability to the emulsion which is perhaps advantageous
for obtaining whippability but in other cases leads to products which are instable
on storage and thus tend to harden and form a two phase system in the package.
EP-A-450087 discloses spoonable products comprising skim
milk. Although these products are storage stable they do not impart the desired
smooth, soft mouthfeel associated with dairy products.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved acidified
non-dairy creams that are storage stable and also show the desired dairy type smooth
mouthfeel without being grainy.
Summary of the invention
It was surprisingly found that a specific ratio of skim
milk derived proteins and butter milk derived proteins fulfills this objective for
acidified non-dairy creams, especially if a specific fat to skim milk protein ratio
is simultaneously adhered to.
Therefore the invention relates to an acidified non-dairy
cream with a pH of from 4 to 5.8, comprising an emulsion of a water continuous phase
comprising protein components and a thickener, and a fat phase comprising a vegetable
fat, the amount of fat being from 5 to 35 wt% on total product weight, and optionally
an emulsifier, wherein the amount of protein is from 0.1 to 10 wt%, characterised
in that at least part of the protein is derived from buttermilk and skim milk
wherein the amount of skim milk derived protein is from 10 to 80 wt% on the total
amount of protein derived from butter milk and skim milk and wherein the cream comprises
fat and skim milk powder, wherein the weight ratio of skim milk powder to fat is
between 1 part skim milk powder to 10 parts fat and 5 parts skim milk powder to
10 parts fat.
A non-dairy cream is defined as a water continuous emulsion
comprising a dispersed fat phase wherein the fat is essentially derived from vegetable
fat. Preferably the butter fat content is less than 10 wt%, more preferred less
than 1 wt% on total fat.
The invention relates to non-dairy creams in any physical
form e.g. pourable, whippable, spoonable, squeezable, pumpable.
The non-dairy cream comprises protein derived from buttermilk
and protein derived from skim milk. The buttermilk and skim milk from which the
protein is derived may be in any suitable physical form such as liquid, paste or
powder. In view of process efficiency and supply chain simplicity, the protein is
preferably derived from butter milk powder and skim milk powder.
In the context of the invention, the wording "derived from"
implies that skim milk respectively butter milk are the source of the protein whereby
inherently the other components present in the source are included in the non-dairy
cream formulation upon addition of the skim milk source or butter milk source.
Skim milk is the low fat fraction which results after separation
of milk in a high fat fraction of about 35% fat (cream) and a low fat fraction (skimmed
milk) by centrifugation. The high fat fraction may be further processed into butter
and buttermilk. The skimmed milk fraction and buttermilk may be concentrated or
Buttermilk and skim milk generally comprise fat, protein, vitamins, mineral elements,
carbohydrates, cholesterol. The fluid that remains after churning of cream, after
all the butterfat has been removed as butter, is similar to skim milk in composition
except it contains the phospholipids and proteins from the fat globule membranes.
In preferred products the amount of skim milk derived protein
is from 30 to 60 wt%, preferably 30 to 50 wt%, more preferably from 35 to 45 wt%
on the total amount of protein derived from butter milk and skim milk.
According to a preferred embodiment of the invention, the
non-dairy cream comprises fat and skim milk powder in a weight ratio of skim milk
powder to fat of at least 1 part skim milk powder to 10 parts fat, preferably between
1 part skimmed milk powder to 10 parts fat and 5 parts skimmed milk powder to 10
parts fat, more preferred from 2 to 10 to 5 to 10.
In the composition according to the invention, a thickener
is present. Preferably the thickener is selected from the group comprising guar
gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan, alginate, pectin, tara gum, xanthan gum, starches,
methylcellulose, carboxymethylcellulose or a combination thereof.
The preferred level of thickener is from 0.01 to 3 wt%,
preferably from 0.2 to 1 wt%.
The amount of protein in the non-dairy cream is from 0.1
to 10 wt%. To prevent the product from imparting a thick, proteinaceous mouthfeel
such as given by fresh cheese, the amount of protein is preferably below 10 wt%.
More preferred the amount of protein is from 1 to 5 wt%, more preferred from 2 to
5 wt%, even more preferred from 2 to 4 wt%. Optionally besides buttermilk protein
and skim milk protein other protein is present, e.g. soy protein.
The amount of skim milk protein is preferably at least
0.6 wt% on total product weight, more preferably from 0.7 to 3 wt%, even more preferred
from 0.7 to 1.5 wt%.
The amount of skim milk powder is preferably at least 2 wt% on total product weight,
more preferably from 2 to 6 wt%, even more preferred 2 to 4 wt%, most preferred
from 2 to 3.5 wt%.
The amount of buttermilk protein is preferably at least
1 wt% on total product weight, more preferred from 1.5 to 3 wt%, even more preferred
from 1.5 to 2.5 wt%.
The amount of buttermilk powder is preferably from 3 to 9 wt%, more preferred from
4 to 6 wt%.
Their powders form a preferred source of buttermilk protein
and skim milk protein.
The creams are acidified to for example obtain a creme
fraiche type composition. Such creams show a pH of from 4 to 5.8, preferably from
4 to 5.4, more preferred 4 to 5.2, which may be reached by chemical or microbial
Preferably the creams comprise butter milk protein, skim
milk protein and some whey protein, either added via the other ingredients or added
as such. It was found that the presence of whey protein positively influences the
mouthfeel especially for creams that are between pH 5 and 5.4.
Although most of the products according to the invention
will show a smooth, non grainy mouthfeel, for some which are e.g. whippable creams
formed with relatively high level of BMP, or spoonable creams with a relatively
high level of SMP, the potential graininess may be considerably reduced by the addition
of a biopolymer such as pectin.
The preferred amount of such biopolymer is 0.05 to 2 wt%.
Optionally the composition comprises an emulsifier. The
emulsifier can be one single emulsifier or a combination of several. Preferably
the emulsifier is selected from the group comprising monoglycerides, diglycerides,
lecithins, polyglycerol esters, DATA-esters, polyoxy sorbitaan esters, citric acid
esters or a combination thereof. The preferred amount of emulsifier is from 0.001
to 2 wt%, more preferred from 0.01 to 1 wt%.
The fat is preferably essentially based on vegetable fat.
Preferred fats are high in polyunsaturated fats.
Suitable fats are for example selected from the group comprising
sunflower oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, palm oil fractions safflower oil, rapeseed
oil, maize oil, bean oil, ground nut oil, olive oil and cotton seed oil or a combination
If the cream is to be used as a whippable cream, the inclusion of a small amount
of a fat that crystallizes at about 4 to 20 °C is recommendable. To this purpose,
e.g. some coconut oil is suitably added.
The cream optionally comprises further ingredients such
as colouring agents, flavour (concentrates), salt, sweetener, e.g. sugar, particulates
e.g. herbs or a combination thereof.
The creams according to the invention may be prepared by
any suitable process. Such processes are for example described in EP-A-469656 and
EP-A-540087. In a preferred process the ingredients except for the fat phase are
mixed in an aqueous environment at about 40 to 100 °C and cooled to below about
60 °C, followed by mixing with the fat phase, homogenization, cooling, optional
acidification, and storage at about 0 to 10 °C.
The invention is illustrated by the following non-limiting
A non-dairy cream was prepared comprising the components
of table 1.
Water phase and fat phase ingredients except for locust
bean gum and acids were mixed at about 60 °C. After mixing the composition
was pasteurized at 85°C for 10 minutes, and cooled down to 44°C, after
which homogenisation at 200 bar took place. To the homogenized composition acid
was added, until a pH of about 4.8 was reached. Subsequently locust bean gum was
added, followed by heating the mixture to 85 °C. The obtained product was homogenized
at 300 bar, and subsequently heated to a temperature of 75°C for filling small
containers. The product was cooled down to below 10°C and stored at chill temperature.
(1) Wt% on total product weight
(2) Wt% on total product weight
Fat phase mixture of coconut oil and palm oil fraction.
Skimmed milk powder
Butter milk powder
Locust bean gum
To pH 4.5
to pH 4.5
Added to 100%
Added to 100%
The resulting products were acidified spoonable non-dairy
creams showing a smooth mouthfeel on consumption. The products were stable upon