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Low-Cal Shakes Are a Hit With Adults / May 9, 2000 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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Chemical engineer Richard Konstance and president of Devine Foods, Denise Devine, discuss the nutritional value of the low-sugar, very low-fat shake.

Read: Full story in Agricultural Research magazine.

Low-Cal Shakes Are a Hit With Adults

By Tara Weaver-Missick
May 9, 2000

Results are in: Adults love the taste of the Agricultural Research Service’s reduced sugar, low-fat milk shakes. The shakes have less than half the sugar and about ten percent of the fat that commercial shakes have.

The new drinks are a remake of a low-sugar variety developed in the 1970s for USDA’s School Lunch Program by retired researcher Virginia Holsinger, formerly with the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center’s Dairy Products Research Unit in Wyndmoor, Pa.

Last fall, ARS opened its doors to about 600 youngsters who taste tested the chocolate shakes. Kids weren’t crazy about them. Some comments: “not sweet enough,” “there’s an after taste,” and “taste like cereal.”

As a result, ARS chemical engineer Richard P. Konstance and colleagues are trying to reformulate the shakes and get rid of the cereal flavor. Konstance is working with Cooperative Research and Development Agreement partner Devine Foods, Inc., in Philadelphia, Pa., to refine the shakes and further develop them as a commercial product.

The shakes are based on ARS’ technology and contain Devine’s patented composition, which reduces fat and calorie content. Fiber content is about 2 to 2.2 percent, which qualifies the shakes as a good source of fiber. A 10-ounce shake has as much calcium, vitamins, and minerals as a serving of milk, and also has fewer calories. They also have significantly less lactose than milk.

ARS is the chief scientific agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

More information on this research appears in the May issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

Scientific contact: Richard Konstance, Dairy Products Research Unit, ARS Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa.; phone (215) 233-6600, fax (215) 233-6795,

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