Müller discovers new yoghurt strain to reduce sugar

The dairy company has tested products using the strain on 150 consumers, who prefer the creamier and thicker texture it creates.

6 November 2018
The current Müller range

Dairy company Müller has investigated 13,000 yoghurt strains over 18 months to find an answer to reducing sugar in its ranges.

This exhaustive analysis led to the discovery of a new yoghurt strain, created from two different types, which will be used to reformulate the Müller Corner range and reduce sugar by 9%. The strain produces a less sour-tasting yoghurt, so less sugar is needed to balance the flavour and make it more palatable for consumers.

It also happens to provide a creamier and thicker texture.

While the specifics of the new culture are being kept a secret by the company, Müller did reveal that it had been created from a blend of streptococcus thermophilus and lactobacillus bulgaricus.

The SKUs are expected to hit supermarket shelves in May 2019, following tastes tests involving 150 consumers who preferred the new recipe.

The discovery is part of Müller’s £100m investment to innovate, develop, manufacture and market a new generation of yogurt and dessert products.

See ya sugar

Having already reduced total sugar by 13.5% across its offering, which is equal to 1759 tonnes, the dairy giant is also removing all added sugar from its core Müllerlight range, reducing the total sugar content by up to 28%.

It recently reformulated Müllerlight Greek Style and Müllerlight Fruitopolis so that they include 0% added sugar, having previously reformulated the Müller Corner Strawberry flavour so that it has 19% less sugar. It also launched Müller Corner Plain, the dairy company’s first ever Müller Corner made with unsweetened, natural Greek-style yogurt.

Michael Inpong, chief marketing officer at Müller, said the recent challenge faced with Muller Corner was how to reduce sugar without compromising on taste.

“By changing the culture we use to make our yogurt, we’ve created something completely unique. Not only does the new Corner yogurt recipe have a thicker and creamier texture, but it has less sugar. It’s backed by our consumer sampling, and we’re very excited to bring this new recipe to market,” he commented.

Reformulation races

Müller joins others scrambling to reduce the sugar content in their goods. Nestlé released its Milkybar Wowsomes, which claim to have 30% less sugar than similar products, after researchers transformed the structure of sugar through a process that created aerated, porous particles of sugar that dissolve more quickly in the mouth.

Meanwhile, Cadbury transformed its famous Dairy Milk chocolate with a bar that contains 30% less sugar, with a team of 20 scientists working for two years to reformulate the recipe, using fibre as an alternative to sugar.

Callebaut has also unveiled a reduced sugar product that it said can be easily substituted into everything from brownies to biscuits, with most of the sweetness coming from lactose.

Back in May, Public Health England reported on the industry’s progress towards sugar reduction, with the gold star going to manufacturers of yoghurts and fromage frais, breakfast cereals, sweet spreads and sauces, which all met or exceeded the initial 5% sugar reduction ambition.

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