- Microbiologists at Oregon State University have discovered, following decades of research, a new polymer called Ropy 352, which can be used as a dairy thickener while adding probiotic properties.
- The patented polymer is produced by a non-disease-causing bacteria. It rapidly thickens a variety of products, from skim milk and cream cheese to yogurt and sour cream. With its ability to impact key consumer factors such as texture and taste, this polymer could greatly impact the dairy and alternative dairy industries. Ropy 352 adds health properties and changing the sweetness and consistency of dairy products, from whole and non-fat milk to coconut and rice milk.
- Ropy 352 adds health properties, important to today's consumer. An estimated $120 billion per year is spent in the U.S. on probiotic products.
Xantham gum is a similar polymer currently generally recognized as safe by FDA, though some experts believe xantham gum can cause digestive issues. Xantham gum appears in a wide variety of food products, particularly processed foods, so, if comparable enough to xantham gum, Ropy 352 could impact the food industry beyond the dairy segment in the future.