Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)’s researchers have developed a cost-effective palm-based lassi that is available for commercialisation by Malaysian companies, particularly the small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs).
MPOB said, the researchers, led by Nur Haqim Ismail, invented the palm-based lassi, targeting particularly for the health-conscious individuals.
"Lassi is a popular traditional fermented milk drink originated from India. Traditionally, it is made by fermenting cow’s or water buffalo’s milk with lactic acid bacteria and takes at least 12 to 16 hours to be done.
"Breeding of bacterial cultures is an essential prerequisite for high-quality lassi production,” it said.
MPOB said low-fat lassi, which is healthier, has a poor consistency and flat flavour which shows excessive whey separation.
"Palm-based lassi is a new type of beverage with high commercial potential in the local market. It is produced through the direct acidification process with less time consuming compared to conventional fermentation method.
"Direct acidification without the use of culture in the manufacture of lassi will not only address the problems commonly faced in the traditional fermentation method but will also significantly reduce processing time and help in reducing the production costs," said the board.
MPOB further said the direct acidification will also significantly extend the shelf life of lassi because it is not influenced by live culture.
Moreover, the addition of palm oil to substitute the milk fat produced healthier lassi as it contains no cholesterols as well as trans fatty acids free.
"Research showed that the physicochemical properties of palm-based lassi such as pH, titratable acidity, viscosity and Brix level, are comparable to that of commercial lassi.
"Also, the sensory evaluation which was conducted among the panellist showed that the preference of palm-based lassi was higher than the commercial milk fat-based lassi,” it said.
The board said Malaysian companies can take advantage of this opportunity as palm-based lassi through this direct acidification process is still not available or explored in the market.
"Thus, it has a huge potential to be commercialised in the market at a competitive price with better overall acceptance compared to the commercial lassi,” it added.