Carbonated lassi to roll out soon

With fizz too..

The indigenous lassi will soon give soft drink manufacturers a run for their money.

After four years of intense research, scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute ( NDRI) in Haryana have discovered a bacteria stain, Leuconostoc Ln 27, which will be used to manufacture carbonated sweet lassi, just like the soft drinks.

“Efforts are on to get the process of preparation of the beverage patented, since patent of organisms is not allowed in India,” Sudhir Tomar, senior scientist at the Dairy Microbiology Division, NDRI, told Deccan Herald on Tuesday. “The sweetened carbonated Lassi will be 35 per cent less in calories and 65 per cent low in sugar and sans any artificial sweetener,” he added.

“The bacteria is unique in its phenomenal ability to release a very high level of natural sweetener, mannitol, when it reacts with sugar in curd. It turns the sweet mixture into a very high value mannitol that preserves the sweetness and is low in sugar content as well.

Carbon dioxide is naturally released during the process, which adds fizz,” Tomar said.

The process took nearly four years, during which nearly 200 plant and animal samples were examined. The research team comprised Falguni Patra, A K Singh and Rameshwar Singh. The NDRI plans to sell the patented technology to a company interested in manufacturing the lassi in the country.

Officials at the NDRI said the carbonated lassi would be pitched as a substitute for soft drinks and is likely to appeal to children and teenagers.

“First of all, it’s an Indian stain. It will be the first carbonated lassi in the country. It’s a perfect healthy carbonated drink for those who want to avoid heavy calories and sugar,” Tomar said.

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