The next dairy 'superfood' could be… fortified buffalo yogurt

Popular across the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia and Southern Europe, buffalo yogurt is more of a novelty food in the US and Western Europe, where untapped commercial opportunities are abundant.

With a dense, creamy texture similar to that of Greek yogurt, buffalo yogurt has a distinct flavor profile that ranges from mild to tart depending on the mix of grass, clover and straw that the animals consume.

Buffalo milk’s nutritional profile is also head and shoulders above cow’s, sheep’s and goat’s milk. According to the American Water Buffalo Association, buffalo milk has 58% more calcium, 40% more protein, and 43% less cholesterol than cow’s milk. It’s also a rich source of iron, phosphorus and vitamin A and contains high levels of the natural antioxidant tocopherol.

These unique sensory and nutritional properties prompted a cohort of dairy scientists to develop a new functional yogurt made from buffalo milk and fortified with edible essential oils.

‘Richer, creamier, more nutritious’

Researchers from Egypt’s Cairo University alongside colleagues from Belgium’s KU Leuven leveraged marjoram and geranium essential oils to supplement samples of buffalo yogurt and find out how the oils’ inclusion impacted the yogurt’s sensory, functional and bioactive properties.

Is buffalo milk good for health? Its nutritional value trumps cow’s milk.

Constituents

Cow

Goat

Sheep

Buffalo

Protein

grm

3.2

3.1

5.4

4.5

Fat

grm

3.9

3.5

6.0

8.0

Carbohydrate

grm

4.8

4.4

5.1

4.9

Energy

K cal

K J

66

275

60

253

95

396

110

463

Sugars (Lactose)

grm

4.8

4.4

5.1

4.9

Fatty Acids-

Saturated

Monounsaturated

Polyunsaturated

 

grm

grm

grm

 

2.4

1.1

0.1

 

2.3

0.8

0.1

 

3.8

1.5

0.3

 

4.2

1.7

0.2

Cholesterol

mg

14

10

11

8

Calcium

iu

120

100

170

195

 

Nutritional information via the American Water Buffalo Association