India: 'Would you like some effervescence in your lassi, madam?'

By Ankush Chibber

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sugar Coca-cola

A glass of lassi - could soon be carbonated...
A glass of lassi - could soon be carbonated...
Cola makers in India might have a battle on their hands if a recent breakthrough in making a carbonated version of lassi, a traditional Indian yoghurt-based drink, is commercialised.

The breakthrough has come via scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), who have discovered a bacteria strain, Leuconostoc Ln 27​, which will be used to manufacture carbonated sweet lassi.

A spokesperson for the research institute confirmed to FoodNavigator-Asia that the scientists have been able to use the strain in the preparation of the carbonated lassi, for which they have filed a patent.

According to him, since Indian laws do not allow patenting of organisms, the beverage itself will be patented. The drink would be healthier than regular lassi as well, being 35% less in calories and 65% lower in sugar content.

“The drink will not have any artificial sweetener either. Ln 27 releases a very high level of natural sweetener, mannitol, when it reacts with sugar in curd.  What we get is a sweet mixture with high value mannitol that preserves the sweetness, and a low sugar content,”​ he said.

The carbonated content is released during the process, which adds the fizz of a cola drink, he revealed.

The research process to find the strain and make the beverage took four years and now the institute is planning to sell this patented process to any company that would be interested in manufacturing the beverage.

“We would like to think there would be many takers. Carbonated drinks are growing in consumption in India, especially amongst the urban youth and this will appeal to their lifestyle,”​ he said.

“The fact that this is a healthy carbonated drink, without heavy calories and sugar, will only add to its appeal in urban regions,”​ he added.

Related topics R&D

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