A traditional confection from the French town of Montelimar, nougat is gaining a following in Asia but manufacturers have come up against quality and cost issues.
Martin Kristensen, bakery technical manager at Arla, explained: “French nougat is widely popular in Asia, particularly in China. But because egg white can fluctuate in quality, maintaining a high standard is normally expensive.”
Cost and quality issues
In response to a customer enquiry, the bakery team at Arla therefore set about finding a whey-based alternative to egg white that would reduce the cost of ensuring consistent quality. The result of this work is the protein isolate NUTRILAC BK-9250.
“With our protein,” Kristensen claimed “a consistent quality is easier to achieve at lower cost.”
Compared to high quality crystalline egg white, Arla claims that its new whey protein alternative offers a potential cost saving of 30-40 per cent.
With regards to quality, Arla said that the protein has an 18-month shelf life and the risk of microbiological contamination is minimal. The Danish company added that it requires no cold storage, is easy to handle and can be put to work immediately rather than requiring pre-socking for six hours like crystalline egg white.
In addition to the financial and quality benefits, Arla claims that whey protein offers some performance benefits as well. In Nougat formulation the protein offers excellent whipping properties, according to Arla, and therefore produces a stable foam with high air-retaining capacity.
Egg replacement is an area of specialism at Arla. The company offers a range of dairy-based solutions for the bakery market covering applications such as sponge cakes, muffins and meringues. It claims that egg replacement can extend shelf life and reduce cost without compromising on taste.
Commenting on the latest developments with nougat, Kristensen said: “Our work with nougat has opened another door of opportunity within egg replacement. There are always exciting new ideas to investigate.”