Most people who know me call me an adventurous eater.
I tend to get very curious about novel foods and novel formulations. Even if they might not always be healthy, I try new products anyway.
I have this urge to taste everything new in the market (and yes, I did try insects, too) to better understand the taste and texture.
Potato-based alt-milk beverage
Last week, I went to my local Waitrose looking for a potato dairy-free beverage to use as milk. As a regular alternative milk beverages buyer, I am pretty familiar with brands and options. I was very surprised when I realised that there was one more option to choose from: the potato plant-based drink sold under the name ‘Dug’.
This potato based beverage has a low carbon footprint (0.27 – 0.31 Kg CO2e/kg). It is allergen-free and vegan friendly. For all of these reasons, Dug was awarded a World Food Innovation Award 2021. Considering these excellent reviews, I was very eager to try Dug.
When you open a carton of barista Dug potato beverage, you will notice a viscosity similar to that of milk. The product comes out in a pleasant colour that is similar to an oat drink. On the other hand, if you look at the ingredient list in the barista version, you can realise that there is a high sugar concentration as it appears high in the ingredients list order.
Dug indeed tastes sweet (you can buy the unsweetened version if you need it). It is very intense at the very beginning. The more you drink, the stronger the potato taste becomes. Right after that, you can taste a bit of acidic taste alongside an astringent feeling.
This astringent taste causes some kind of drying in the oral cavity and is most likely due to the pea proteins present in the formulation. Pea proteins can help with foaming when you use this type of beverage in a cappuccino, hence their use in a barista version. Some proteins might cause astringency when used in acidic conditions.
Now, I didn’t check the pH of this potato plant-based beverage, but I did detect acidic notes indeed.
This product is made by emulsifying potatoes (perhaps potato proteins extract?) with rapeseed oil and some other emulsifiers. As a result, the emulsion is quite stable over time. This makes me feel like I can use this product for tea, coffee or for other applications such as baking or ice-cream.
If you want to try the product, click on the image on the left. Let me know if you like it and what did you use it for.
I have to admit that I didn’t dislike it, but I still have to train my palate for this new taste. My opinion is that this could be an interesting alternative but I am not sure if this would be a very suitable option for those interested in clean labels.
When consuming foods, we also need to be aware of the quantity of sugar and fats, so we also need to modulate amounts and rate of consumption.
Which other alternatives will we see in the supermarket?
Is it me or do you as well have more questions than answers about manufacturing plant-based options for classic foods?
Do we have to mimic milk at all costs?
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