Researchers have developed a way to identify the “flavor-giving protein fragments” in fermented dairy products. The exact taste of fermented foods has been somewhat of a mystery to scientists. Of the thousands of different protein fragments in fermented milk products, it was always unknown which protein was responsible for flavor. But new research from TUM (Technical University of Munich) whittled down those approximately 1,600 protein fragments responsible for the bitter fermented flavor to just 17. This research is important to foodpreneurs wanting to optimize flavors in their fermented products 

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Fermented milk from yogurt to kefir to buttermilk is spiking in popularity. It’s estimated to grow 3.7% CAGR from 2017 to 2023, thanks to its long shelf-life, easy digestion and antioxidants.

The Fermentation Association (TFA), getting more people to enjoy fermented products. Join us at The Fermentation Association.

Where do fermentation and mixology meet? Fermentation guru Alex Lewin and author of “Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond” is sharing his techniques at Culture Club 101 in Pasadena on Oct. 7. Alex will share the history of fermented drinks, their health benefits and demo fermented drink creations. Join us Oct. 7 act Culture Club 101 in Pasadena.

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Microbiologists in Canada developed a formula that makes commercial kefir healthier. Traditional, old-world kefir is packed with health benefits, decreasing weight gain by 40% and cholesterol levels by 50%. Commercial kefir, though, does not contain bacteria-loving yeast used in traditional kefir. That variation in the fermentation process means commercial kefir is not as healthy. The Canadian microbiologist’s formula can be added to milk in commercial vats and is currently in the patent process.

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Though more consumers want probiotics only 2 percent of new food and drinks launched in the last 12 months were marketed as containing probiotics. A study found its because of regulatory issues. Companies (especially in the dairy category) are uncertain whether or not they can legally label a product as containing probiotics. Labeling the food as fermented instead could aid a product’s natural and healthy image, the study concludes, since more consumers are viewing fermentation as an authentic natural food and beverage choice.

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As fermented foods become mainstream, more products are launching and “each new brand is having to work even harder to capture consumers’ attention,” says the managing director of Carter Wong design studio. Kefir drink brand Nomadic (formerly Bio Green Dairy) is launching a new line of drinks. Their unique packaging labels were designed by the studio as part of Nomadic’s acquisition and rebrand. The aim of the packaging was to stand out on a supermarket shelf and include typography with an “authentic eastern European feel.”

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The CEO of kefir-based Lifeway Kefir has published a cookbook, “The Kefir Cookbook.” In it, Julie Smolyansky shares how her father began fermenting kefir in their Chicago basement. The international recipes all incorporate kefir, and include lasagna, gyros, classics from Julie’s Russian roots and recipes from some of Chicago’s favorite chefs.

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Georgia’s getting their first kombucha taproom. Cultured South will offer fermented creations to eat and drink, like kombucha tea, kefir, Jun, drinking vinegars, wild ferments, cold brew and vegan cheeses. Their grand opening in May will coincide with the 2nd annual Atlanta Fermentation Fest. Cultured South is founded by the creator of Golda Kombucha, Melanie Wade.

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Seven Acres Farm & Ferments is expanding their home-based fermented food business to Canada’s grocery store shelves. Their fermented offerings include water kefir, kimchi, pickles and 14 varieties of sauerkraut (like lemon dill, classic caraway and sweet juniper).

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Water kefir – a sugar-based probiotic drink – is booming in popularity. Oregon co. The Water Kefir People is expanding in the market, appealing to health-conscious consumers who want a less-tart alternative to Kombucha. Their top selling brew combination is turmeric and ginger.

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