So, Arla have released a new product which aims to replace the sugary snack portions of yogurt.
Named simply ‘Arla Protein’, the yogurt is actually quark. For those unfamiliar with quark, it is a soft cheese commonly consumed in Germany and Denmark. During the manufacturing of quark, much of the lactose is removed along with the fat, so you are left with a high concentration of milk protein.
Many athletes have been using quark for years as a cheap form of quality protein, particularly as an ingredient for low carbohydrate desserts or for consuming before turning in for the night (the casein is a ‘slow’ protein which helps muscle recovery during your sleep).
How Does It Taste?Arla Protein is available as 200g cartons in three flavour varieties;
As soon as you open a carton you will notice that Arla Protein is much firmer than yogurt. It exhibits the typical texture of quark, a sort of middle ground between yogurt and feta cheese, yet is still easy to spoon.
The mouth feel is slightly ‘dry’ when compared to yogurt, but like quark, this improves when you stir the product. It’s thick, but not really creamy as it’s very low in fat. Personally, when consuming quark I usually stir in a small amount of walnut oil to create a creamy texture (and add some Omega-3 EFA).
Nutritional AnalysisThe three flavours offer identical nutritional values;
|per 200g serving||per 100g|
|Energy||140 kcals||70 kcals|
That gives a macro ratio of 59:38:3 (PRO:CHO:FAT). So, very low in fat and high in protein, but with a protein to carbohydrate ratio which is not as high as quark usually is.
On further investigation of the ingredients I found that the product has added corn starch and sugar! This is pretty baffling. Why take a natural product which is high in protein and low in sugar, then add processed carbs and sugar and market it as a protein snack?
Still, the ‘yogurt’ has a much higher protein to carbohydrate ratio than traditional low fat yogurts.
ConclusionArla Protein is certainly a useful addition to the shelves of the dairy snack aisle of the supermarket, and they should be congratulated on bringing quark to the public, but why, oh why add sugar?
I just feel this is a missed opportunity in which they could have sweetened using Stevia (or any calorie free sweetener) and removed the corn starch. Maybe even added just a little decent oil to give a more luxurious texture and mouth feel (that’s not to say the product tastes bad) and improve the nutritional content by providing some EFAs.
If that were the case I would wholeheartedly recommend this as a high protein snack for anytime of the day, but particularly for consuming at night. But, due to the sugar content I cannot.
So, I would recommend this as an alternative to low fat yogurts, but cannot recommend it for those of you on a carbohydrate controlled diet.