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Title:
ASEPTIC RTD PEANUT MILK AND METHOD OF MAKING THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/098022
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed herein are ready to drink ("RTD") plant protein and/or dairy protein beverages having improved stability, texture and mouthfeel. The beverages comprise a plant protein and/or a dairy protein, and a texturing/stabilizing system, wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer, or consists of a stabilizer and an emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer is present in the system, or only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system. Also disclosed are methods for preparing the RTD beverages.

Inventors:
DOU, Chaoran (Room 1405 building 14, Gaolin residential zone 1Xiang'an distric, Xiamen Fujian 1, 361111, CN)
SHER, Alexander A. (6101 Wynford Drive, Dublin, Ohio, 43017, US)
SUN, Zhongwei (Room 2A2502, Wanke Jinseyuecheng Maxiang,Xiangan distric, Xiamen Fujian 1, 659921, CN)
Application Number:
EP2016/080524
Publication Date:
June 15, 2017
Filing Date:
December 09, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NESTEC S.A. (CT-IAM, Avenue Nestlé 55, 1800 Vevey, 1800, CH)
International Classes:
A23L2/38; A23C9/154; A23C9/156; A23C11/06; A23L2/52; A23L2/66; A23L25/00; A23L29/10; A23L29/269
Domestic Patent References:
WO2014154780A12014-10-02
WO2014186896A12014-11-27
WO2016142278A12016-09-15
WO2012005998A22012-01-12
Foreign References:
EP1081220A12001-03-07
EP2127531A12009-12-02
ES2303470A12008-08-01
US20120040056A12012-02-16
US6153247A2000-11-28
US6475539B12002-11-05
US20100129510A12010-05-27
US20050025861A12005-02-03
US20140255583A12014-09-11
EP2342980A12011-07-13
US20120093980A12012-04-19
EP2013075179W2013-11-29
US5079027A1992-01-07
EP0381259A21990-08-08
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COGNIAT, Eric (Ct-iam, Avenue Nestlé 55, 1800 Vevey, 1800, CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A beverage comprising

- a protein, and

- a texturing/stabilizing system,

wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer, or consists of a stabilizer and a emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer is present in the system, or only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system.

2. The beverage according to claim 1 further comprising a fat component and wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer and an emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system.

3. The beverage according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the stabilizer is gellan gum.

4. The beverage according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the emulsifier is sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, calcium caseinate or magnesium caseinate.

5. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the beverage further comprises a buffer wherein the buffer is a citrate, a carbonate or a phosphate, for example, sodium or potassium based buffer thereof.

6. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the gellan gum in the beverage is in an amount of about 0.02-0.03%, 0.02-0.039%, 0.03-0.055%, or 0.02-0.055% by weight of the beverage.

7. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the emulsifier in the beverage is in an amount of about 0.05-0.5%, 0.1-0.4%, or 0.1-0.3% by weight of the beverage.

8. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the buffer is in an amount of about 0.01%-0.3% by weight of the beverage.

9. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the protein in the beverage is in an amount of about from 0.3-20%, 0.3-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.55-4%, 0.8-10%, 2-15%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage.

10. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the protein is a plant protein, a dairy protein, or any combination thereof.

11. The beverage according to claim 10, wherein the plant protein is derived from one or more plant materials rich in protein, from one or more plant seeds or plant nuts, or any combination thereof.

12. The beverage according to any one of claims 10-11, wherein the plant materials, the plant seeds or the plant nuts are in the form of particle, powder, paste, or slurry.

13. The beverage according to any one of claims 10-12, wherein the plant protein is nut protein, wherein the nuts is any type of nuts, or a mixture of two or more nuts, or wherein the plant protein is peanut protein, pistachio protein, walnut protein, almond protein, hazelnut protein, coconut protein, or any combination thereof, or wherein the plant protein is peanut protein and/or the combination of peanut protein with one or more other nut proteins.

14. The beverage according to any one of claims 10-13, wherein the particles of a plant material is a micro-particulated plant material.

15. The beverage according to claim 10, wherein the dairy protein is derived from milk powder or liquid milk, such as skimmed milk powders and/or full milk powders, wherein the dairy protein in the beverage is in an amount of about 0-20%, 0.2-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.5-3.6%, 2.0-10%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage.

16. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the beverage comprises sugars in an amount of from about 0.5-10% by weight of the beverage, preferably 1.0-9.0%, more preferably 1.0-7.0% by weight of the beverage.

27

17. The beverage according to claim 2, wherein the fat comprises up to 6.0 wt%, or about 2.0 wt% to 5.0wt%, or about 2.0wt% to 4.0wt%, for example about 3.8wt%, 3.5% fat.

18. The beverage according to any one of the preceding claims is in the form of concentrate, powder, or liquid beverage, such as ready-to-drink beverage, a shelf-stable ready-to-drink beverage, wherein the beverage is stable for at least nine months at ambient temperature.

19. A beverage texturizing/stabilizing system, which comprising only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier, wherein the stabilizer is gellan gum, wherein the gellan gum is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing gellan gum from about 0.02-0.03%, 0.02-0.039%, 0.03-0.055%, or 0.02-0.055% by weight of the beverage, the emulsifier is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing the emulsifier from amount of about 0.05-0.5%, 0.1- 0.4% or 0.1-0.3% by weight of the beverage. 20. The beverage texturizing/stabilizing system of claim 19, wherein the emulsifier is sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, calcium caseinate or magnesium caseinate.

21. The beverage texturizing/stabilizing system of claim 19 or 20, wherein the system further comprise one buffer, which is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing the buffer from about 0.01%-0.3%,by weight of the beverage, for example the buffer is citrate, carbonate or phosphates.

22. A package comprising the beverage texturizing/stabilizing system according to any one of claims 19-21, wherein each of the agents may be provided in individual containers, or may be provided in a composition form thereof.

Description:
Aseptic RTD peanut milk and method of making thereof

Field of the invention

The present disclosure generally relates to a plant protein beverage. Specifically, the present disclosure is directed to a plant protein beverage with reduced number of emulsifiers and stabilizers, more specifically, the present disclosure is directed to a plant protein dairy beverage with reduced number of emulsifiers and stabilizers, which comprises a protein and a texturizing/stabilizing agents. Background

There are many types of beverages currently on the market. Plant protein beverages are popular in today's world and widely consumed by people due to their nutrition and good quality. Plant protein beverages market is growing rapidly. A desired plant protein beverage should be shelf-stable during storage without phase separation, creaming, gelation and sedimentation, and retain a constant viscosity over time.

However, addition of proteins and stabilizers to liquid dairy beverages generally leads to significant increase of the beverage viscosity which makes the beverage undesirable for consumption, and also may lead to physico-chemical instability issues such as age gelation, phase separation, sedimentation, creaming, syneresis and so on. Furthermore, the addition of proteins to beverages can create a number of issues. In particular, for protein beverages containing insoluble particles such as peanut, there are a number of instability issues during storage. Previously tested beverages with protein levels have had undesirably high viscosity, unpleasant texture and mouthfeel, and syneresis or coagulation. Another issue is the precipitation of the insoluble peanut particles during storage. These issues become more severe at elevated temperatures (such as about 30°C or above).

These interactions are increased during heat treatment, such as pasteurization or sterilization. Thus, it can be difficult to keep plant protein particles (e.g., peanut particles) evenly suspended in the beverage without affecting the organoleptic properties of the protein beverages, especially during lengthy and/or high temperature storage.

A desired plant protein beverage (for example, a plant protein dairy beverage) should be shelf-stable during storage without phase separation, creaming, gelation and sedimentation, and retain a constant viscosity over time. Because emulsions and suspensions are thermodynamically unstable, there are challenges in overcoming physico-chemical instability issues associated with dairy-based plant protein RTD beverages (e.g., which contain proteins, carbohydrates, fat, insoluble materials such as peanut particles, etc.) for long storage time, especially at elevated temperatures (e.g., about 30°C or above).

To improve these disadvantages, a lot of additives (especially many stabilizers and emulsifiers) are added into the plant protein beverages. In addition, consumers are looking for enhanced mouthfeel, also denoted as richness, texture or creaminess, of the beverages. Therefore, many additives which will improve the texture, body of beverages are still need to obtain a pleasing mouthfeel of the beverages.

Today, consumers are increasingly health conscious, and are more concerned with what is in their foods, how they are made and where the ingredients come from. The growing demand for natural, additive-free foods is changing the global food and drink industry. The current trend is that consumers are more health conscious and are looking for beverages with less additives but without compromising product taste and texture. They are more interested in the products with short and clear ingredient lists.

However, when reducing the additive (especially the stabilizers and emulsifiers) added to the beverage, the texture perception of RTD dairy beverages and the long shelf life stability of the beverage might be greatly affected. Such stability and mouthfeel are challenging due to plant protein. It is especially serious when the plant protein is peanut protein.

Peanuts are one of the world's most widely distributed food protein resources. It is found that peanuts are rich in proteins, oils, essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids, and low in cholesterol. Therefore it is popular with consumers and some peanut dairy beverages have been developed. However, peanut dairy products are easy to make changes during the producing process period and shelf-life period for peanut contains a lot of oils and proteins, which results in precipitation and thereby affect the mouthfeel of the beverage.

So far, there are no solutions for shelf-life stable plant protein beverages (especially a peanut dairy beverage) with reduced additives (especially the stabilizers and emulsifiers), which have a similar even better mouthfeel than the current commercial plant protein beverages.

For example, U.S. Patent App. Pub. No. 2012/0093980 discloses a protein beverage that contains whey protein concentrate or isolate, milk protein concentrate or isolate, soy protein, caseinate or combinations thereof. The beverage has a stabilizer system which includes carboxymethylcellulose and gellan gum. However, the beverage has a lot of additives and the stabilizer system does not improve beverage mouthfeel and does not provide long shelf-life stability of a RTD dairy chocolate beverage. As another example, PCT App. Pub. No. WO2012/005998 discloses a stabilizer system for use in a RTD whole grain beverage containing carboxymethylcellulose, xanthan gum and gellan gum. In one embodiment, the stabilizing system includes 5 to 20% gellan gum, 1 to 10%> xanthan gum and 50 to 90%> carboxymethylcellulose. The stabilizer system may be used in milk-based or juice-based whole grain beverages. However, not only the beverage has a lot of additives, but also the stabilizer system does not improve the mouthfeel of the beverages. Moreover, the presence of xanthan gum, especially in combination with carboxymethylcellulose, causes syneresis when cocoa is present.

International Application No. PCT/EP2013/075179 discloses a chocolate dairy beverage comprising a cocoa component and a stabilizing system. In which, the stabilizing system comprising gellan gum, carrageenan and at least one ingredient selected from the group consisting of carboxymethylcellulose, guar gum and tara gum. However, the chocolate dairy beverage still comprises a lot of additives and cannot match the increasing demand of natural, reduced additives or additive-free foods.

Therefore, there is a need for a solution that provides a RTD plant protein beverage, especially a RTD peanut dairy beverage, which has reduced additives (especially the stabilizers and emulsifiers) but does not compromise on the mouthfeel and the stability of the beverage, even provides improved mouthfeel and extended shelf-life stability. Brief description of the invention

The present disclosure generally relates to plant protein beverages, for example plant protein dairy beverages, especially peanut-protein dairy beverages. The plant protein beverages can be aseptic and ready to drink and have good physico-chemical stability during ambient storage times (e.g., stable for at least 9 months at ambient temperature) along with a pleasant mouthfeel. The plant protein beverages can also overcome problems with protein destabilization and phase separation such as sedimentation, syneresis, viscosity change, age gelation, and other phase separation/instability issues during different storage conditions over the full life of the plant protein beverages.

In one aspect, the present invention provides a beverage comprising a protein, and a texturing/stabilizing system, wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer, or consists of a stabilizer and a emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer is present in the system, or only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system. In an embodiment, the protein is in the form of a component containing a protein, or is provided in the form of a component containing a protein. In another embodiment, the component containing a protein is a component containing a plant protein, a component containing a dairy protein, or any combination thereof.

In an embodiment, the present application provide a beverage comprising a fat component and wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer and an emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system.

In another embodiment, the present invention provides a beverage comprising a component containing a protein, and only one stabilizer, provided that no emulsifier or only one emulsifier is present in the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the stabilizer is gellan gum.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the emulsifier is sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, calcium caseinate or magnesium caseinate.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the beverage further comprises a buffer.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the buffer is a citrate, a carbonate or a phosphate.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the buffer is sodium or potassium based buffer, for examp the buffer is sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate,monosodium or monopotassium phosphates; disodium or dipotassium phosphates; trisodium or tripotassium phosphates.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the gellan gum in the beverage is in an amount of about 0.02-0.03%, 0.02-0.039%, 0.03-0.055%, or 0.02-0.055% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the emulsifier in the beverage is in an amount of about 0.05-0.5%, 0.1-0.4%, 0.1-0.3% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the buffer in the beverage is in an amount of about 0.01%-0.3% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the protein in the beverage is in an amount of about from 0.3-20%, 0.3-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.55-4%, 0.8-10%, 2-15%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage. In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the protein is a plant protein, a dairy protein, or any combination thereof.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the plant protein is derived from one or more plant materials rich in protein, from one or more plant seeds or plant nuts, or any combination thereof.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the plant materials, the plant seeds or the plant nuts are in the form of particle, powder, paste, slurry.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the plant protein is nut protein, wherein the nuts is any type of nuts, or a mixture of two or more nuts, or wherein the plant protein is peanut protein, Pistachio protein, Walnut protein, almond protein, Hazelnut protein, coconut protein, or any combination thereof, or wherein the plant protein is peanut protein and/or the combination of peanut protein with one or more other nut proteins.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the the particles of a plant material may be a micro-particulated plant material.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the dairy protein is derived from milk powder or liquid milk, such as skimmed milk powders and/or full milk powders, wherein the dairy protein in the beverage is in an amount of about 0-20%, 0.2-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.5-3.6%, 2.0-10%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the beverage further comprises sugars in an amount of from about 0.5-10% by weight of the beverage, preferably 1.0- 9.0%, more preferably 1.0-7.0% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, wherein the fat comprises up to 6.0 wt%, or about 2.0 wt% to 5.0wt%, or about 2.0wt% to 4.0wt%, for example about 3.8wt%, 3.5% fat .

In another embodiment of the beverage as defined above, the beverage is in the form of concentrate, powder, or liquid beverage, such as ready-to-drink beverage, a shelf-stable ready- to-drink beverage, wherein the beverage is stable for at least nine months at ambient temperature.

In a further preferable embodiment, the beverage described above is a plant protein beverage, for example a peanut protein beverage. In another preferable embodiment, the beverage described above is a plant protein dairy beverage, for example, a peanut protein dairy beverage. In an embodiment, the present disclosure provides a shelf-stable ready to drink plant protein beverage, which includes a component comprising plant protein, and a stabilizing system comprising gellan gum. In a further embodiment, the present disclosure provides a ready to drink peanut protein beverage, or a ready to drink peanut protein dairy beverage.

In another aspect, the present application provides a beverage texturizing/stabilizing system, which comprising only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier, wherein the stabilizer is gellan gum, wherein the gellan gum is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing gellan gum from about 0.02-0.03%, 0.02-0.039%, 0.03-0.055%, or 0.02-0.055% by weight of the beverage, the emulsifier is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing the emulsifier from amount of about 0.05-0.5%, 0.1-0.4% or 0.1-0.3% by weight of the beverage.

In another embodiment of the beverage texturizing/stabilizing system as defined above, wherein the emulsifier is sodium caseinate, potassium caseinate, calcium caseinate or magnesium caseinate.

In another embodiment of the beverage texturizing/stabilizing system as defined above, wherein the system further comprise one buffer, which is present in an amount sufficient to produce a beverage containing the buffer from about 0.01%-0.3%,by weight of the beverage, for example the buffer is citrate, carbonate or phosphates.

In a further embodiment, the present application provides a package comprising the beverage texturizing/stabilizing system as defined above, wherein each of the agents may be provided in individual containers, or may be provided in a composition form thereof.

In a further aspect, the present application provides a method for producing a beverage as described above, comprising:

(a) providing the protein, the stabilizer, and optionally providing the emulsifiers, and/or the buffers,

(b) producing a homogeneous aqueous mixture comprising (1) the protein, (2) the stabilizer, and optionally (3) the emulsifiers, and/or (4) the buffers.

In another aspect, the present application provides a use of the beverage texturizing/stabilizing system or the package as described above for producing the beverage as described above.

In a further embodiment, particles of a plant material and/or particles of a component containing a plant protein may be a micro-particulated plant material, preferably, at least 75%, such as at least 85%, e.g. at least 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99% or more of the particles of the micro- particulated plant material have a particle size in the range l-150um, l-130um, l-120um, or 1- 100 urn (percent by volume), or below 50um, for example below 30μιη, or for example, in the range from 10-50μιη, or 20-40um, or 20-30μιη.

Other and further objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art.

Brief description of the figures

Figure 1 shows the Lumisizer results of recipes disclosed in example 3. Figure 2 shows photos of sediment on the bottle, which represent the visual observation ratings. Figure 3 shows photos of stability of recipes 1, 7-9 after storage for 9 months at ambient temperature, as disclosed in example 3. Figure 4 shows sensory evaluation results of different recipes.

Detailed description

Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms, terms of art, and acronyms used herein have the meanings commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art in the field(s) of the invention, or in the field(s) where the term is used. Although any compositions, methods, articles of manufacture, or other means or materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention, the preferred compositions, methods, articles of manufacture, or other means or materials are described herein.

All dosage ranges contained within this application are intended to include all numbers, whole or fractions, contained within said range. All percentages expressed herein are by weight of the total weight of the beverage composition unless expressed otherwise. Any appropriate value within the range can be selected, where appropriate, as the upper value, lower value, or the terminus of the range.

As used herein, the singular form of a word includes the plural, and vice versa, unless the context clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, the references "a", "an", and "the" are generally inclusive of the plurals of the respective terms. For example, reference to "a milk", "a method", or "a food" includes a plurality of such "milks", "methods", or "foods". Similarly, the words "comprise", "comprises", and "comprising" are to be interpreted inclusively rather than exclusively. Likewise the terms "include", "including" and "or" should all be construed to be inclusive, unless such a construction is clearly prohibited from the context. Similarly, the term "examples," particularly when followed by a listing of terms, is merely exemplary and illustrative and should not be deemed to be exclusive or comprehensive. As used herein, "about" is understood to refer to numbers in a range of numerals.

The methods and compositions and other advances disclosed here are not limited to particular methodology, protocols, and reagents described herein because, as the skilled artisan will appreciate, they may vary. Further, the terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only, and is not intended to, and does not, limit the scope of that which is disclosed or claimed.

All patents, patent applications, publications, technical and/or scholarly articles, and other references cited or referred to herein are in their entirety incorporated herein by reference to the extent allowed by law. The discussion of those references is intended merely to summarize the assertions made therein. No admission is made that any such patents, patent applications, publications or references, or any portion thereof, are relevant, material, or prior art. The right to challenge the accuracy and pertinence of any assertion of such patents, patent applications, publications, and other references as relevant, material, or prior art is specifically reserved.

The present disclosure relates to plant protein beverages, especially peanut dairy beverages. The plant protein beverages can be aseptic and shelf-stable plant protein-containing RTD beverages, for example, formed by the interaction of dairy component, a component containing a plant protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and stabilized by the use of a new texturing/stabilizing system comprising gellan gum.

It is well known that addition of proteins to ultra-high temperature treated liquid may lead to sedimentation due to protein denaturation and lower water solubility of the proteins or their derivatives. Additionally, competition between proteins and low molecular weight emulsifiers may lead to emulsion instability resulting in product creaming.

To resolve this problem, a common method is to use many stabilizers and many emulsifiers. In commercial plant protein recipe, especially in peanut dairy recipe, common added food stabilizers and emulsifiers comprise for example carboxymethyl cellulose(CMC), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), carrageenan, sodium caseinate, glyceryl monostearate, lecithin, glycerin fatty acid ester, sucrose ester of fatty acid, glycerol ester, soybean phospholipid and so on.

However, so many stabilizers and emulsifiers in the beverage do not meet the market trend of natural, little additives, especially reduced stabilizers and reduced emulsifiers.

Until now, there is still no a plant protein beverage with reduced additives (especially the stabilizers and the emulsifiers) without compromising stability, texture, and body of the beverage. It is the present application that satisfies the consumer's demand. Inventors of the present application have surprisingly found that a new texturing/stabilizing system can provide aseptic RTD beverages with good physico-chemical stability during heat treatment and storage while also providing good mouthfeel. The texturing/stabilizing system improves the stability of aseptic RTD peanut-containing beverages by helping to avoid protein destabilization, phase separation, creaming, syneresis, viscosity changes, age gelation, and other phase separation/instability issues during the ambient storage of the beverage. More surprisingly, inventors found the new texturing/stabilizing system without addition additives is enough to maintain beverages stable for a long time, for example, at least 9 months at ambient temperature.

In an aspect, the present disclosure provides a beverage comprising 1) a component containing a protein, and 2) a texturing/stabilizing system, wherein the texturing/stabilizing system consists of a stabilizer, or consists of a stabilizer and a emulsifier, provided that only one stabilizer is present in the system, or only one stabilizer and only one emulsifier is present in the system.

In an embodiment, the component containing a protein is a component containing a plant protein, a component containing a dairy protein, or any combination thereof.

The stabilizer may be, for instance, but not limited to, agar, gellan gum, pectin, propylene glycol alginate gelatin, gum acacia, arabic gum, guar gum, locust bean gum, gum tragacanth, carrageenan and its salts, carboxymethyl cellulose(CMC), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC), sodium alginate or propylene glycol alginate, or any mixture of hydrocolloids, carob flour, guar flour, alginates xanthan, starches, and a combination comprising at least two of the foregoing stabilizer.

Emulsifiers may be, for instance, but not limited to, molecules that have both a hydrophilic part and a hydrophobic part. Suitable emulsifiers for use in the beverage compositions include an emulsifier with a hydrophilic- lipophilic balance (HLB) in the range of 3 to 10, for example, lecithin (e.g., soy lecithin); mono and di-glycerides of long chain fatty acids, specifically saturated fatty acids, and more specifically, stearic and palmitic acid mono- and diglycerides; mono and di- glycerides of acetic acid, citric acid, tartaric acid, or lactic acid; egg yolks; polysorbates (e.g., polysorbate 20, polysorbate 40, polysorbate 60, polysorbate 65, and polysorbate 80), propylene glycol esters (e.g., propylene glycol monostearate); propylene glycol esters of fatty acids; sorbitan esters (e.g., sorbitan monostearates, sorbitan tristearates, sorbitan monolaurate, sorbitan monooleate), sucrose monoesters; polyglycerol esters; polyethoxylated glycerols; and the like, and a combination comprising at least two of the foregoing emulsifiers. The expression "only one", when used throughout the specification and the following claims, is intended to specify the presence of single feature or component, and excluding any other features or components of the same category.

For example, "only one stabilizer" means the presence of single stabilizer, excluding any other stabilizer. For example, when the "only one stabilizer" is defined as gellan gum, it means the presence of gellan gum, and excluding any other stabilizer.

The term "texturing/stabilizing agent" intends to mean any agent capable of modifying, maintaining and/or improving the texture and the stability of a food to which the agent is added, especially the texture and the stability of a liquid, for example, a beverage, a protein beverage, or a plant protein beverage. The term includes any stabilizer and emulsifier used in the food field. In an embodiment, the term "texturing/stabilizing agent" also provides good mouthfeel and a pleasant, indulgent taste.

The expression "only one texturing/stabilizing agent" used in the context of beverage of the present disclosure means that only gellan gum is present in the beverage as the texturing/stabilizing agent, excluding any other texturing/stabilizing agent including MC, MCC, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, Ggyceryl monostearate, and lecithin and so on.

The expression "only two texturing/stabilizing agent" used in the context of beverage of the present disclosure means only gellan gum and one emulsifier (for example, sodium caseinate) are present in the beverage as the texturing/stabilizing agent, excluding any other texturing/stabilizing agent, for example CMC, MCC, carrageenan, glyceryl monostearate, lecithin and so on.

"A texturizing/stabilizing system" used in the present application means a system capable of modifying, maintaining and/or improving the texture and the stability of a food to which the system is added, especially the texture and the stability of a liquid, for example, a beverage, a protein beverage, or a plant protein beverage. The term includes any stabilizer and emulsifier used in the food field. In an embodiment, the stabilizer is gellan gum. The system improves the stability of shelf-stable RTD plant protein beverages by helping to avoid phase separation, creaming, syneresis and the like during the storage of the beverage at ambient temperatures as well as other temperatures.

In another embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing system of the present application further comprises buffers used in the field of food, for example a citrate, a carbonate or a phosphate, such as, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium tripolyphsphate. In an embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing system consists of gellan gum. In a further embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing system consists of gellan gum and sodium caseinate. In yet another embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing system consists of gellan gum, sodium caseinate and sodium citrate.

In one embodiment, the gellan gum is high acyl gellan gum, low acyl gellan gum or a combination thereof, although preferably the gellan gum comprises high acyl gellan gum that optionally has low acyl gellan gum included, more preferably the gellan gum is high acy gellan gum.

In an embodiment, the gellan gum is present in the beverage in an amount of about 0.02- 0.03%, 0.02-0.039%, 0.03-0.055%, or 0.02-0.055% by weight of the beverage, for example, 0.02%, 0.022%, 0.025%, 0.028%, 0.03%, 0.033%, 0.035%, 0.037%, 0.039%, 0.04%, 0.042%, 0.045%, 0.048%, 0.05%, 0.052%, or 0.055% by weight of the beverage.

In an embodiment, the emulsifier is present in the beverage in an amount of about 0.05- 0.5%, 0.1-0.4%, or 0.1-0.3% by weight of the beverage, for example, 0.05%, 0.08%, 0.1%, 0.12%, 0.15%, 0.18%, 0.2%, 0.23%, 0.25%, 0.27%, 0.29%, 0.3%, 0.32%, 0.35%, 0.38%, 0.4%, 0.45%, or 0.5% by weight of the beverage. In another embodiment, the emulsifier is sodium caseinate.

In an embodiment, the buffer is present in the beverage in an amount of about 0.01%- 0.5%, 0.01%-0.3%, 0.05%-0.3%, or 0.1-0.35% by weight of the beverage, for example, 0.01%, 0.08%, 0.1%, 0.12%, 0.15%, 0.18%, 0.2%, 0.23%, 0.25%, 0.27%, 0.29%, 0.3%, 0.32%, 0.35%, 0.38%, 0.4%, 0.45%, or 0.5% by weight of the beverage. In another embodiment, the buffer is citrate, carbonate or phosphates. In still another embodiment, the buffer is sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, or sodium tripolyphsphate.

In an embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing agent or the texturizing/stabilizing system maintains the beverages of the present application in good suspension and emulsion stability, avoiding syneresis and other phase separation issues during the storage, and improves mouthfeel, texture of the beverage. In another embodiment, the texturizing/stabilizing system maintains the resulted beverages stable for at least 9 months at ambient temperature without phase separation including syneresis, gelation, marbling and practically no sedimentation, for example stable for at least 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, stable for at least 9 months at 30°C, at least 12 months at 30°C, and so on. In addition, the unique texturing/stabilizing system is advantageously and unexpectedly found to provide a resulting beverage having an improved texture with a good mouthfeel, a smooth texture and a low viscosity.

It has surprisingly been found that the addition of a new texturing/stabilizing agent or a new texturing/stabilizing system to a plant protein beverage significantly improves the physico- chemical stability of the plant protein beverages. For example, the specific combinations of the new texturing/stabilizing system provide stable, RTD plant protein beverages with a consistently low viscosity without phase separation during different storage conditions over an extended period of time, for example at least 9 months at ambient temperature, at least 9 months at 30 C. It is more surprised that the new texturing/stabilizing system without addition additives is enough to maintain beverages stable for a long time, for example, at least 9 months at ambient temperature, at least 9 months at 30C.

The beverage can be made aseptic to extend product shelf life. The texturizing/stabilizing system can maintain the aseptic plant protein beverage with homogeneity for a longer period at about refrigeration temperature, even after heat treatment and/or and elevated storage temperatures, for example ambient temperature. The texturizing/stabilizing system causes improved stability of the beverages while also preventing or minimizing other phase separation issues. Additionally, the unique texturizing/stabilizing system improves the body and texture of the beverage, provides a better mouthfeel, and maintains a low viscosity, throughout the shelf- life of the beverage.

The component containing a dairy protein and/or the dairy protein can be provided in the form of any dairy products, including but not limited to, cream, full fat milk, reduced fat milk, skim milk, milk solids, condensed milk, or a combination comprising at least two of the foregoing milk products. In one embodiment, the component containing a dairy protein and/or the dairy protein is provided in the form of full fat milk powder, skim milk powder, or a combination thereof. Depending upon the dairy product and how it is processed, the amount of protein present can vary. The skilled artisan will appreciate that the present disclosure is not restricted to dairy component from bovine origin, but pertains to dairy component from all mammalian animal species, such as from sheep, goats, horses, and camels.

In an embodiment, the dairy protein in the beverages of this disclosure is in an amount of from about 0-20%, 0.2-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.5-3.6%, 2.0-10%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage.

A component containing a plant protein may be any type of plant product derived from a plant, which is rich in plant protein and suitable for making a beverage. A component containing plant protein may be obtained by any common technique known by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention belongs. In an embodiment, the component containing a plant protein is powder, paste, slurry, or extract from a plant material, for example plant seed, or plant nut, such as roasted nut. In one embodiment, the component containing plant protein is peanut paste, peanut slurry, or combination thereof. In another embodiment, the plant protein is present in an amount of from about 0.3-20%, 0.3-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.55-4%, 0.8-10%, 2-15%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage.

The plant protein according to the present invention may be any protein suitable for food and beverages derived from a plant material, for example, a plant material rich in protein. In one embodiment, the plant protein may be seed protein, for example oilseed protein, or nut protein, including but not limited to those selected from the group consisting of soy protein, pea protein, canola protein, wheat and fractionated wheat proteins, corn proteins, zein proteins, rice proteins, oat proteins, potato proteins, peanut proteins, green pea powder, green bean powder, proteins derived from beans, lentils, and pulses, or combinations thereof. In one embodiment, the plant protein is nut protein, for example, protein from any edible nuts, or nut-like fruits, such as Almond, cashew, pistachio, kola nut, peanut, Brazil nut, coconut, chestnut, hazelnut or filbert, Pine nut or cedar nut; pecan; Walnut, sesame seeds; sunflowers seeds; macadamia; Fennel seeds; hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, or a combination comprising at least two of the foregoing nuts. In one embodiment, the nut can be peanut, walnut, hazelnut, almond, cashew, pecan, pine nut, pistachio, Brazil nut, macadamia nut, coconut and cocoa, or mixtures of two or more nut types. In another embodiment, the plant protein is peanut protein, pistachio protein, walnut protein, almond protein, Hazelnut protein, Cocoa protein, or any combination thereof. In a further embodiment, the plant protein is peanut protein or a mixture comprising peanut protein and one or more other plant proteins, for example one or more other nut proteins, for example, selected from, almond protein, hazel protein and pistachio protein.

In another embodiment, the component containing a plant protein is peanut paste, wherein the peanut protein in the beverage is in an amount of from about 0.3-20%, 0.3-18%, 0.35-17%, 0.3-16%, 0.5-10%, 0.55-4%, 0.8-10%, 2-15%, or 5-10% by weight of the beverage, for example about 0.3%, 0.8%, 1.0%, 1.5%, 1.8%, 2.0%, 2.3%, 2.5%, 2.7%, 3.0%, 3.3%, 3.5%, 3.8%, 4%, 4.2%, 4.5%, 4.8%, 5.2%, 8%, 12%, 13%, 15%, 18% by weight of the beverage.

According to the invention, plant protein may be in the form of extract from any one or more of the above-mentioned nuts, for example slurry (such as peanut slurry) or paste (such as peanut paste), or the combination thereof. In one embodiment, the plant protein is peanut protein.

In an embodiment, the plant protein component comprises particles of a plant material, for example see or nut material. In an embodiment, the particles of a plant material may be a microparticulated plant material. In an embodiment, it may be preferred that the microparticulated plant material may comprise a volume average particle size (PDS) in the range from 0.05um - 500 urn, or 0.1-500um, 0.5-300um, l-500um, 2-300um. It may be further preferred that at least 75%, such as at least 85%, e.g. at least 95%, 96%, 97%, 98%, 99% or more of the particles of the micro-pa rticulated plant material have a particle size in the range from 1 - 150um, l-130um, l-120um, or 1-100 urn (percent by volume), or below 50um, for example below 30μιη, or for example, in the range from 10-50μιη, or 20-40um, or 20-30μιη. The particle distribution size may be determined by a standard analytical method, e.g. using light scattering such as by using a Malvern light scattering instrument. This method is commonly used by people skilled in the art. The microparticulated plant material may be provided by subjecting a plant material to a process selected from the group consisting of milling, grinding and pulverization. In an embodiment, the plant material may be subjected to a heat treatment (e.g. roasted) prior to being microparticulated.

In one embodiment, the component containing a plant protein is obtained by micronizing plant materials, such as nuts, for example, peanuts. The process for micronization of a plant material is known to skilled artisans in the art.

In one embodiment, the particle size distribution according to the present invention can be achieved by grinding or milling the nut material prior to mixing it with the beverage base, and by homogenising after admixture. In general, a hammer mill, ball mill, roll mill, drum mill, colloid mill or disk or stone mill is used for reducing the particle size of the nut material. Also extrusion processing may be used. Preferably, a stone mill (comprising rotating stone discs) is used. The specific configuration and operation mode of the mill depend on the type of nut material and the desired final particle size. These are adjusted so as to achieve sufficient reduction in particle size, without changing the flavour of the specific nut material.

In one embodiment, peanut paste may be obtained by methods of known in the food arts in which raw peanuts are roasted, dry-blanched (and optionally partially defatted), and finely ground in a mill to obtain the peanut paste. In an emobyment, the nut material according to the present invention is prepared by using a process described in US 5,079,027 (EP 381259), which provides a process for producing peanut particles.

In an embodiment, the beverage according to the present application may comprise an amount of fat, which can be derived from the component containing a dairy protein and/or plant component, or added as a separate component. The fat may be present in an amount of up to 6.0 wt%, or about 2.0 wt% to 5.0wt%, or about 2.0wt% to 4.0wt%, for example about 3.8wt% fat by weight of the beverage composition. In one embodiment, the fat in the beverage is derived from the component containing a dairy protein and/or the plant component. In one embodiment, the beverage comprises no added fat. In another embodiment, the beverage comprises added fat.

In an embodiment, the beverage according to the present application may further comprise an amount of added sugar. I n one embodiment, the beverage comprises added sugar in an amount of 0.5-10%, 1-9%, 5.0-7.0% by weight of the beverage. In one embodiment, the added sugar is white sugar. In another embodiment, sugar in the beverage is derived from the dairy component and/or the plant component, and the beverage does not comprise added sugar.

The beverages can also include one or more additional ingredients such as flavorants, artificial sweeteners, natural sweeteners, colorants or a combination thereof. Sweeteners can be sugar-based, such as sucrose, invert syrup, fructose syrup, glucose syrup with various DE, maltodextrins with various DE and combinations thereof, for example. Sugarless sweeteners can include, but are not limited to, sugar alcohols such maltitol, xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol, mannitol, isomalt and lactitol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, saccharin, cyclamate, acetosulfame, an L- aspartyl-based sweetener, or mixtures thereof.

Usage level of the flavorants, sweeteners and colorants will vary greatly and will depend on such factors as potency of the sweetener, desired sweetness of the beverage, the level and type of flavor used, and cost considerations. Any suitable combinations of sugar and/or sugarless sweeteners may be used in the plant protein beverages. In an embodiment, sugar is present in an amount less than about 6% of the beverage and preferably present in the beverage in an amount from about 0% to about 6% of the beverage, and sugarless sweeteners are present in the beverage in an amount less than about 0.1% of the beverage and preferably in an amount from about 0.001% to about 0.0033% of the beverage.

In an embodiment, the beverage further includes one or more vitamins and/or minerals. The vitamins include, but are not limited to, vitamin A, vitamin Bi (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin or niacinamide), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine, pyridoxal, or pyridoxamine, or pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid), and vitamin Bi2 (various cobalamins, commonly cyanocobalamin in vitamin supplements), vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, folic acid, biotin, choline, or combinations thereof. The vitamins can be present in the beverage in an amount from about 0.01% to about 0.5% of the beverage.

The minerals can be present in the beverage in an amount from about 0.0025% to about 1% of the beverage. Non-limiting examples of the minerals include calcium, magnesium, iron or a combination thereof. The source of calcium can include calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium citrate, other insoluble calcium compounds or a combination thereof. The source of magnesium can include magnesium phosphate, magnesium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide or combination of thereof. The source of iron can include iron ammonium phosphate, ferric pyrophosphate, ferric phosphate, ferrous phosphate, other insoluble iron compounds, aminoacids, iron chelating compounds such as EDTA, or combinations thereof. The minerals may also include zinc, iodine, copper, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, chromium, molybdenum, selenium, nickel, tin, silicon, vanadium and boron.

In another embodiment, the beverage composition can contain a juice-based composition obtained from fruit or vegetable. The juice-based composition can be used in any form such as a juice form, a concentrate, an extract, a powder (which can be reconstituted with water or other suitable liquids), or the like. Suitable juices used in the juice-based composition include, for example, citrus juice, non-citrus juice, or mixtures thereof, which are known for use in beverages. Examples of such juices include, non-citrus juices such as apple juice, grape juice, pear juice, nectarine juice, currant juice, raspberry juice, gooseberry juice, blackberry juice, blueberry juice, strawberry juice, custard-apple juice, pomegranate juice, guava juice, kiwi juice, mango juice, papaya juice, watermelon juice, cantaloupe juice, cherry juice, cranberry juice, peach juice, apricot juice, plum juice, and pineapple juice; citrus juices such as orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, grapefruit juice, and tangerine juice; and vegetable juice such as carrot juice and tomato juice; and a combination comprising at least two of the foregoing juices. Unless otherwise indicated, juice as used can include fruit or vegetable liquids containing a percentage of solids derived from the fruit or vegetable, for example pulp, seeds, skins, fibers, and the like. The amount of solids in the juice composition can be about 1 to about 75 wt%, specifically about 5 to about 60 wt%, more specifically about 10 to about 45 wt%, and yet more specifically about 15 to about 30 wt% each based on the total weight of the juice.

In one embodiment, acidity regulators can be used to adjust the pH of the beverage, including, but not limited to citrates such as sodium citrate, sodium pyrophosphate, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium bicarbonate.

In another aspect, the present disclosure provides methods for producing a beverage according to the present invention, and also the beverage made according to the method. In one embodiment, the method comprises the steps of

(a) providing the component comprising a protein, the stabilizer, and optionally providing the emulsifiers, and/or the buffers, (b) obtaining a homogeneous aqueous mixture comprising (1) the component comprising a protein, (2) the stabilizer, and optionally (3) the emulsifiers, and/or (4) the buffers.

In one embodiment, the homogeneous aqueous mixture is obtained by using any suitable means known to skilled artisans. In preferred embodiments, the mixture is obtained by adding the components to any suitable container while stirring. The order of additions is not critical. Generally, the dry components are added to water with stirring and then the non-dry components are added to the mixture with stirring. In one embodiment, the mixture can be emulsified by shear, for example, 4000rpm to 5000rpm shear. In a further embodiment, the mixture is then heated to about 60-80°C, for example 75°C, and homogenized. The components can be heated, cooled, and pressurized (or depressurized) using any suitable method known to skilled artisans. Generally, the components are heated, cooled, and pressurized in a heat exchanger or an extruder. Preferably, the components are heated, cooled, and pressurized in a heat exchanger.

In one embodiment, the homogeneous aqueous mixture is obtained as follows:

dissolving a dairy component, for example, skimmed milk powders and/or full milk powders, in a tank with 60-80°C hot water, and shearing at about 4000rpm to 5000rpm for lOmin;

if needed, adding emulsifier to the tank with about 4000rpm to 5000rpm shearing speed; dry mixing a hydrocolloid component with sugar, and then dissolving in 60-80°C hot water with 4000rpm to 5000rpm shearing speed, then adding it into the milk solution with 4000rpm to 5000rpm shearing speed,

- adding nut paste, for example, peanut paste to the tank and then mixing,

dissolving buffer with hot water and then adding to the milk solution,

adding rest sugar to the milk solution and then standardization,

heating the standardized solution to 75°C and homogenizing through two stages homogenization (Stage 1: 30MPa/6MPa, and Stage 2: 20MPa/5MPa), and

- ultra high temperature ("UHT") heat treatment the homogenized solution at 135°C-138°C for 10-30sec

In one embodiment, water, preferably purified water is preheated to a temperature of from about 60 to about 70°C. Then, one or more materials in amounts sufficient to produce a final composition containing a suitable amount are added to the heated water and mixed until a homogeneous mixture is obtained. Generally, the components are mixed by stirring at a speed of from about 1000 to about 4000 rpm for a period of from about 10 to about 20 minutes.

To extend shelf life of the RTD beverages, the RTD beverages can be subjected to pasteurization or sterilization techniques (e.g. UHT, retorting). For example, a UHT treatment is ultra-high temperature processing involving at least partial sterilization of a composition by heating it for a short time, around 1-10 seconds, at a temperature exceeding 135°C. There are two main types of UHT systems: the direct and indirect systems. In the direct system, products are treated by steam injection or steam infusion, whereas in the indirect system, products are heat treated using plate heat exchanger, tubular heat exchanger or scraped surface heat exchanger. Combinations of UHT systems may be applied at any step or at multiple steps in the process of beverage preparation.

A HTST treatment (High Temperature/Short Time) is a pasteurization method using a temperature of at least 71.7°C for 15 to 20 seconds. Flash pasteurization is a method of heat pasteurization of perishable beverages prior to filling into containers to kill spoilage microorganisms, make the beverages safer and extend their shelf life. The liquid moves in controlled continuous flow while subjected to temperatures of 71.5°C to 74°C for about 15 to 30 seconds. Retorting typically is treatment for 5 to 35 minutes at 121 to 125°C. Any of these pasteurization or sterilization techniques or any other suitable techniques may be used.

In another aspect, the invention provides packages comprising a material suitable for containing a plant protein beverage made according to the methods of present invention. Any package or packaging material suitable for containing the milk-like beverage of the present invention is useful in the invention, e.g., a bag, box, bottle, can, pouch, and the like manufactured from paper, plastic, foil, metal, and the like. In a preferred embodiment, the package contains a plant protein beverage of the present invention, preferably a peanut protein dairy beverage.

In one embodiment, the beverage compositions can be packaged in a container as ready- to-drink, shelf stable beverage products. Any type of beverage container can be used to package the beverage composition including glass bottles, plastic bottles and containers (e.g., polyethylene terephthalate or foil lined ethylene vinyl alcohol), metal cans (e.g., coated aluminum or steel), lined cardboard containers, and the like. Other beverage packaging material known to one of ordinary skill in the art can be used.

EXAMPLES

The practice of the present invention will employ, unless otherwise indicated, conventional techniques which are known and available to one of skill in the art.

By way of example and not limitation, the following examples are illustrative of various embodiments of the present disclosure. In all the examples, concentrations of ingredients are given as w/w% based on the whole product formulation. Example 1- Ingredients of RTD peanut dairy beverages

Table 1 shows two non-limiting examples of ranges of ingredients of RTD peanut dairy beverages containing a texturizing/stabilizing system, wherein the texturizing/stabilizing system in beverage 1 is gellan gum stabilizing system, and the texturizing/stabilizing system in beverage 2 is a gellan gum/Sodium Caseinate stabilizing system. The ingredients are listed with amounts expressed in weight percentage of the beverage.

Table 1: Example RTD peanut dairy beve

Example 2— Components of peanut dairy beverages and producing process thereof

Formulations of the peanut dairy beverage with different stabilizing systems are disclosed in Table 2. The ingredients are listed with amounts expressed in weight percentage of the composition.

The beverages can be made using any suitable process. As a non-limiting example, a process used to produce recipe 1 is provided as following:

Dissolve 8g skimmed milk powder in milk solution tank with lOOg 65°C hot water and shear at 4000rpm for lOmin. Add sodium caseinate 1.8g (emulsifier) to milk solution tank with 4000rpm shearing speed for lOmin. Dissolve dry Gellan gum (Kelcogel HMBPC 0.39g) with lOg sugar in 500g 70°C hot water with 4000rpm shearing speed for lOmin and thereby obtain the stabilizer solution. Add the stabilizer solution into milk solution tank with 4000rpm shearing speed for lOmin. Finely grind roasted peanut kernels by stone mill to produce peanut paste, and then add 30g peanut paste to milk solution tank and mixing for 5min. Dissolve 1.5g sodium citrate with 70g 80°C hot water and then add to milk solution tank. Add 0.033g sucralose, 0.56g flavor and 45g rest sugar to milk solution tank and then standardization to 1000ml. Heat standardization solution to 75°C and homogenize through two stages homogenization (Stage 1: 30MPa/6MPa, and Stage 2: 20MPa/5MPa). Then treat the homogenized solution by ultra-high temperature (UHT) at 150°C for 30sec.

Table 2. Examples of some tested recipes (1-9) (the ingredients are listed with amounts expressed in weight percentage of the beverage)

Note: REF* is a reference peanut dairy beverage. Rl to R9 are recipes 1 to 9. Avicel-plus PS4614 from FMC Biopolymer is a mix of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and carrageenan. The gellan gum is Kelcogel HMBPC from CP Kelco. SM P stands for skimmed milk powder. Na bicarb, stands for sodium bicarbonate. Na TPP stands for sodium tripolyphosphate. Na erythorb. stands for sodium erythorbate.

Samples of the beverage were cooled to about 20-25°C and then aseptically filled and stored at 4°C, ambient temperature, 30°C and 37°C.

Using the similar process, one of ordinary skill in the art can easily produce the reference sample and the other recipes in table 2. It is apparent forthose skilled people in the art to produce other suitable recipes which are not disclosed in the specification based on the disclosure of the present application.

Example 3-Physical stability evaluation of the produced beverages

Evaluating the physical stability of all test beverages as listed in table 2 by using the following assays, wherein the Reference beverage in table 2 is used as a control.

The physical stability is assessed by the combination of LUMISizer analysis and visual observations.

1. LUMISizer analysis

Suspension stability was evaluated by using LUMISizer analysis. The LUMISizer is a temperature controlled bench-top dispersion/ stability analyzer for the comprehensive characterization of emulsions and suspensions. Various rectangular sample cells and analytical software SEPView make the device well suited for the analysis of low or high concentrated dispersions and the analysis of the sediment or creaming layers during centrifugation.

Lumisizer operates using the principle of centrifugation of samples at different g force, for a given time. Transmission profiles were generated, and Space and Time resolved extinction coefficients of the samples were recorded. The difference in the separation rates (Instability Index) between the samples allowed for assessment of relative stability of the products. The higher Instability Index value represents the more unstable product.

Results:

The recipes of table 2 without dilution were analyzed by using the LumiSizer under accelerated conditions at 2500-6000rpm for 2.5-8hr at 20°C. The results from the LumiSizer expressed as the Instability Index are shown in Fig. 1. Lumisizer results showed that recipes 1-3 performed better than the reference, in which recipe 1 was the most stable. It is very surprising to find that recipes 1-2 comprising the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application performed better than recipe 3 comprising an additional additive besides the new texturing/stabilizing system. It shows that the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application has an excellent stability performance. That is to say, the new texturing/stabilizing system without addition additives is enough to maintain beverages stable for a long time, for example, at least 9 months at 37°C.

According to method principle, instability index value is indicating the overall stability of each sample. The higher index value means the lower overall stability at a certain evaluation time. Note that from instability data, it is clear that the new recipes 1-9 have better overall stability than reference and other stability system. This result is consistent with visual observation of concerned samples during 9 months storage test. Specifically, recipe 1 was the most stable, and recipes 1-2 comprising the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application performed better than recipe 3. It shows that the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application has an excellent stability performance. That is to say, the new texturing/stabilizing system without addition additives is enough to maintain beverages stable for a long time.

2. Visual observations

Visual observations are evaluated during 9 month at 4°C, ambient temperature, 30°C and 37°C. The bottles are first inspected to see potential creaming. The bottles are then poured in a beaker and gelation of product is again examined during the pour. The empty bottles are also examined to look at potential sediment. Creaming on the surface and sediment are rated with the following qualitative scales:

For the visual ratings of sediment, please also see figure 2. Results:

The recipes of table 2 were rated according to the visual scales above. Results are in table 3: Table 3 Visual observation during storage test

After storage, it was found that the tested beverages have good appearance, and have no phase separation including syneresis, gelation, and marbling. From the result, we could see new recipes performed better than reference based on 9 month storage test at 4°C, ambient temperature, 30°C and 37°C. For the phase separation, sediment comparison between recipes 1, 7-9 and the control, please also see Figure 3. From Figure 3, it can be seen that after storage, phase separation and sediment has only appeared in the control, but not in other new recipes. In words, these tested peanut dairy beverages in table 2 have good physical stability without phase separation, sedimentation, creaming, syneresis and other phase separation issues. Specifically, recipe 1 has the best appearance, and recipes 1-2 comprising the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application performed better than recipe 3. It shows that the new texturing/stabilizing system of the present application has an excellent stability performance. That is to say, the new texturing/stabilizing system without addition additives is enough to maintain beverages stable for a long time.

Apparently, the new texturizing/stabilizing system of the present application makes the peanut dairy beverages more stable during the shelf-life period than the reference and therefore has a better appearance, especially, during 9 months at 4°C, ambient temperature, 30°C and 37°C. Example 4— sensory properties evaluation of the produced beverage

Sensory characteristics of recipes 4-6 recorded in table 2 were judged by the internal trained sensory panelists, including the viscosity and volume of a liquid in the mouth. The results are recorded in figure 4. It was found that the tested beverages have better sensory than the reference.

Specifically, the new recipes with different range of gellan gum dosage found to be thicker than commercial peanut dairy and can give better mouthfeel than reference. That is to say, the new texturing/stabilizing system provided by the present invention not only reduces the additives commonly used in the peanut dairy beverages, but also improve the stability, texture and mouthfeel of the beverage.

In summary, these examples demonstrate the peanut dairy beverages with the reduced additives of the present application have indulgent texture and mouthfeel and good shelf-life stability at chilled and ambient temperatures. And the used new texturizing/stabilizing system not only contributes to the beverages more stable than the control, but also makes the beverages have better texture and mouthfeel than the reference.

It should be understood that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present subject matter and without diminishing its intended advantages. It is therefore intended that such change modifications be covered by the appended claims.