Abstract: Effect of oat β-glucan on the fermentation of set-style yogurt was investigated by incorporating 0%, 0.1%, 0.2%, 0.3%, 0.4%, and 0.5% of purified oat β-glucan into the yogurt mix. It was found that levels up to 0.3% resulted in yogurts with quality characteristics similar to the control yogurt. Higher levels of β-glucan however retarded the fermentation process with noticeable difference in the characteristics of the yogurt. Examination of the morphologies of yogurt with and without β-glucan revealed that β-glucan formed aggregates with casein micelle and did not form phase-separated domains. This research demonstrated that β-glucan could be added to yogurt up to 0.3%, which meets the nutrient guidelines, to have added nutritional benefits.
Practical Application: Yogurt is known for its beneficial effects on human health and nutrition. Yogurt production and consumption is increasing in the United States every year. However, it is lacking in β-glucans, which are recognized for their nutritional importance as functional bioactive ingredients. The main objective was to develop and characterize low-fat yogurts with added β-glucan. This research demonstrated that β-glucan could be added to yogurt up to 0.3%, which meets the nutrient guidelines for added nutritional benefits, without affecting the characteristics of yogurt significantly. This study will benefit the dairy industry by generating new products offering healthy alternatives.