An Irish-produced frozen yogurt has been shortlisted for the finals of the World Dairy Innovation Awards, the winners of which will be announced next week, Wednesday 7th June
is a Greek-style frozen yogurt, enriched with Omega 3 – normally found in oily fish – and Vitamin D. It was developed in Ireland and is produced by Ice Cream Treats, a luxury ice cream producer in Cavan with the technology of Omega 3 supplied by Dr Geoff Hayhurst of Belfast-based Paradox Omega Oils.
It’s taken two years for the companies to develop what’s considered an innovative ‘functional food’ – a food that tastes good but comes with added health benefits.
The challenge was to try to get all the goodness of Omega 3 into something that children and adults like to eat, but with none of the taste normally associated with fish or fish oil supplements.
Ice Cream Treats combine Paradox PYO3 technology to develop a product that can revolutionize the addition of Omega3 into dairy products and help deal with widespread deficiency in both Omega 3 and Vitamin D
“We know that children, older people and everyone eats ice cream and frozen yogurt so we wanted to see if we could infuse one of our products with the oil,” says Lisa Clarke, business development manager with Ice Cream Treats.
“We wanted something that had sufficient amounts of Omega 3, was stable, and, crucially, would not affect the taste that consumers expected from a high-end ice cream maker.”
Hayhurst and his team came up with just such an oil specifically for Ice Cream Treats, and Yomega3 was born.
“We started making up samples and there was no taste of oil. All you can taste is the frozen yogurt,” says Clarke. The addition of Vitamin D made sense because it would also be beneficial to Yomega3 consumers.
Dr Hayhurst who researched and developed Paradox PYO3 technology is delighted with the results of the collaboration with ICT. “We have known for some time that Paradox had solutions to the age-old problem of stability and off tastes in Omega 3 molecules and in providing Omega 3 supplements of higher quality, but to take it one step further alongside ICT and develop a “food” with extremely high levels of both Omega 3 and Vitamin D and one so palatable is just fantastic,” he said. “The long term future of people’s health is totally dependent on nutrition and obtaining the correct amounts of essential nutrients in the diet. This innovation into the dairy industry will help develop and provide products that will travel around the globe and could easily contribute to increased health benefits in nations with rich or poor populations.”
The frozen yogurt has just gone into production in Cavan but has already attracted attention in the food world. In March it was a finalist in the World Food Innovation Awards in best health food category, and is now a finalist in two categories at the World Dairy Innovation Awards for Best Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt category, and Best Functional Food category. The winners to be announced on the 7th June at the Global Dairy Congress in Dublin.
Clarke says Ice Cream Treats is delighted that it’s been able to produce an attractive, tasty food product that has important health benefits – and that people actually like eating.
Yomega3 comes in three flavours, Vanilla, Mango and Raspberry, in 500 ml pots and will be available in SuperValu and Centra stores in the coming weeks.