Fortified Dairy Products

Project entitled:

How to Enrich Dairy Products with Polyphenols and Increase Health Benefits

Laurent Bazinet, Michel Britten, Charles Couillard, Monica Araya-Farias, Élodie Rozoy, Sophie Lamothe


This project is part of an initiative to identify the nutritional synergies and protective effects of dairy products on nutrients in other food groups.



In order to study the nutritional synergy between milk components and polyphenols contained in tea and cranberry juice, this study focuses on three main objectives:

  • To characterize the interactions between milk components and isolated phenolic compounds in tea and cranberry juice;
  • To measure, during digestion, the effect of milk components and three dairy matrices (milk, yogurt, cheese) on degradation kinetics and antioxidant activity of phenolic compounds;
  • To measure, post digestion, the effect of the presence of milk components on the physiological activity of polyphenols.


Results and potential benefits

  • Research on these three components has primarily helped to advance knowledge in the dairy sector since many of the results have been demonstrated for the very first time.
  • In addition, the knowledge and results obtained from this project will contribute to the development of new polyphenol-enriched dairy products while demonstrating the beneficial effect of the addition of polyphenols on health or during digestion.
  • With the knowledge acquired during this project on the interactions between polyphenols/calcium/dairy proteins (alpha 1 casein and β lg), new dairy ingredients may be developed (protein aggregates rich in ECGC and calcium). Depending on the interests of dairy processors, these results may be used as part of a knowledge transfer project conducted in-plant.
  • The results concerning the effect of polyphenols from grapes (commercial extracts) on rennet-induced coagulation could also be validated in-plant beforehand. In addition, results demonstrate that it is possible to preserve the antioxidant activity of polyphenols according to the type of dairy matrix and the manner in which they are incorporated.
  • Lastly, consumers benefit from knowing this information about the liberation of polyphenols during the digestion of milk matrices, as well as about the protection and liberation of polyphenols, as the research demonstrates the real impacts and benefits of milk components (beneficial effect on postprandial glycemia).
  • The potential benefits of the research results are:
    • 1) Increased revenues due to an increased demand for dairy products: Reinforcement of the “healthy” image of milk. In additional to its high nutritional density, milk provides “protection” to nutrients from other food groups (nutritional synergies);
    • 2) Increased product quality: Effect of milk proteins and calcium on the protection and liberation of polyphenols during gastrointestinal digestion; and
    • 3) The ability to better respond to consumers’ concerns.


Professionals trained

  • Martine Lussier: Master’s student
  • Valérie Carnovale: PhD (completed)


Financial contributions

Partnership for innovation in dairy production and dairy processing (EPI2011-2017):

  • Fonds de recherche du Québec – Nature et technologies
  • Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec
  • Novalait