Alternative Milk Beverages

As consumers shift toward healthier beverage consumption, the demand for variety and desire to meet individual consumer needs is driving the dairy milk substitute market. These needs vary from awareness of food allergies and intolerances to the desire for vegetarian options, along with seeking nature-based ways to gain other types of nutrition.

Why Consumers Choose Alternatives to Dairy Milk…

Traditionally, those diagnosed with lactose intolerance turned to soymilk for a nutritious source of protein that was not dairy based. The needs of consumers with allergies to soy protein was met with beverages like rice milk; however, while delicious tasting, it did not provide many nutrients.

According to a Datamonitor report in 2010, 28% of US consumers avoid certain food or beverages for allergy or intolerance reasons. So the need for variety and other options became a focus for manufacturers of milk alternatives.

Other significant drivers in the milk alternative market is the growing popularity of those who are living a vegan lifestyle and avoiding animal products, along with consumers seeking “free of” claims:

  • Free of antibiotics and growth hormones
  • Gluten free
  • GMO free

Formulating Dairy Alternatives

When formulating beverages from various grains, nuts or other plants sources, developers must contend with a variety of issues. Grinding the nuts or grains into a fine powder can leave some residual solids that can settle to the bottom of the container. Adding fortification ingredients like calcium to improve nutrition content can also present a settling issue and therefore, not deliver what is promised on the label. Some milks like those made from coconut have nature-based occurring fats that may separate and rise to the top of the container. Others are very thin and need additional body and creaminess to create the right mouthfeel that consumers desire in milk substitutes.

Some of the more popular new beverage products launched in recent years include milks made from almond, coconut, hemp and oat. Milks made from grains like quinoa are also showing up. Here are some of the attributes of dairy substitutes and the nutrition they bring to consumers.
CP Kelco product-list


Cp Kelco milk alternatives

KELCOGEL® Gellan Gum | The Fluid Gel – An Innovative Suspension System

CEKOLKELCOGEL® Gellan Gum is a polysaccharide produced by fermentation of a pure culture of Sphingomonas elodea. The composition and structure of native gellan gum produced by commercial fermentation is identical to the nature-based occurring polysaccharide formed by Sphingomonas Elodea on plants of water lily varieties.

Excellent Suspension: The uniqueness of KELCOGEL is the ability to function while contributing minimal mouthfeel via the formation of a uniquely functioning “fluid gel” network. This network is extremely pseudoplastic. At rest, the fluid gel has a very high apparent viscosity resulting in excellent suspension of insoluble ingredients. Because of weak molecular associations, the network is easily disrupted upon agitation, resulting in a low viscosity, smooth pour and a light, refreshing mouthfeel.

Excellent for insoluble particulate suspension, with minimal mouthfeel contribution, independent of protein level.

GENUVISCO® Carrageenan | Stabilizing and Preventing Creaming

CP Kelco KELCOGELGENUVISCO® Carrageenan products are a family of polysaccharides from select species of red seaweed – Rhodophyceae.

Stabilizing and Emulsification: GENUVISCO type J-DS is widely used to stabilize organic soymilks to prevent serum separation and promote protein stabilization. In addition, GENUVISCO J-DS promotes emulsion stability to prevent creaming over shelf-life in a wide variety of alternative milks, including hard-tostabilize coconut milk. Eliminating fat creaming provides better shelf appeal, and hence, eliminates the need for a “neck band” on the package label to hide the cream ring.

Enhanced Mouthfeel: GENUVISCO type CSM-2 carrageenan is an excellent choice when added mouthfeel and creaminess are desired. Unstabilized alternative milks are often described as “thin and watery.” GENUVISCO CSM-2 adds mouthfeel and body, without the risk of slight gelation or “blurb.”

CEKOL® Cellulose Gum | Formulation Flexibility for Mouthfeel Enhancement

GENUVISCOCEKOL® Cellulose Gum is a highly-purified, cold water-soluble polymer derived from cellulose. For beverages, CEKOL is a versatile, cost-effective way to add viscosity. CEKOL is produced in a wide range of viscosity grades, with resulting flow properties ranging from nearly-Newtonian to pseudoplastic. Depending on the grade, CEKOL can have either thixotropic or non-thixotropic rheology. This diversity allows beverages to be formulated for a syrup-like mouthfeel or just to add a bit of viscosity.

Rapid Hydration: CEKOL cellulose gum is very quick to hydrate and so is an excellent choice for powdered soft drinks and hot chocolate.

Please contact a CP Kelco representative for more details.