Lead author Susan E. Duncan, a professor at Virginia Tech, said many consumers want to increase their intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, found naturally in fish and fish products, but find it difficult to consume the necessary amount of fish.
"The international popularity of yogurt and the health-promoting properties associated with probiotics, minerals, vitamins, and milk proteins suggest yogurt could be an excellent vehicle for the delivery of omega-3 fatty acids," Duncan said in a statement. "We tested different levels of fish oil in a savory chili and lime flavored yogurt, and found that a 1 percent concentration of fish oil, which provides more than the suggested daily intake, could be acceptable to a large proportion of the general population."
The study, published in the Journal of Dairy Science, found 100 untrained consumers who were generally nutritionally motivated and aware of the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids evaluated the overall acceptance and flavor acceptance of chili lime yogurt enriched with butter oil or fish oil.
Fifty percent rated chili-lime flavored yogurt fortified with 1 percent butter oil or fish oil in the positive end of the scale, the study found. The low overall acceptance of the product by the remaining 50 percent of the test group might be attributed to the chili-lime flavor or the lack of sweetness in the product, Duncan said.
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