Progel fortifying dairy and juice market

Uniquest Limited
Monday, 30 January, 2012

Brisbane-based food technology start-up Progel has harnessed encapsulation technology developed by Professor Bhesh Bhandari at The University of Queensland’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

Professor Bhandari’s encapsulation technology will be commercialised by Progel to create omega-3 milk and juice with up to four times the omega-3 of existing fortified milks, but without the fishy smell and taste.

The technology uses safe food ingredients such as alginate, which is widely used in ice-cream. Alginate is derived from sustainably harvested seaweed.

Progel received a $250,000 Commercialisation Australia grant to develop the product. Progel will partner with food and ingredient manufacturers to co-develop milk and juice products with levels of probiotics and omega-3 not currently available.

Previous attempts at adding probiotics to milk and juice products have been unsuccessful, as the products go sour within days. Similarly, products with added omega-3 often retain a fishy smell and taste.

Professor Bhandari’s research team has already developed prototype probiotic and omega-3 milk and juice products without affecting the products’ taste and smell.

Progel ingredients do not affect the quality, texture, taste or smell of the product, said Professor Bhandari. He said they may be suitable for people who do not regularly consume milk, yoghurt or oily fish.

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