Quark cheese is a high-protein, low-fat alternative to soft cheese and yogurt that can be used for baking, cooking and blending. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about quark, which traces back to the 14th century where it was popular throughout Europe, and still is to this day. She clarifies that it is in fact classified as a cheese, although it features a super-thick consistency, which is a cross between cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Quark cheese is multifaceted in the kitchen and is very popular countries like Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, but it is rare in the US, with only a handful of dairies producing the cheese. The team wonder why they had never heard of this cheese before and whether it has the potential to become more popular among US consumers.
Also, in this episode, Sydney discusses the probiotic soda trend and whether these beverages are actually healthy. Simply put, probiotic sodas are carbonated drinks that contain one or more probiotic ingredient(s). Some research shows that probiotics can help maintain a balanced gut microbiome, which supports gastrointestinal health and function. While probiotics can be found in fermented foods, dietary supplements and beauty products, sodas containing probiotics are increasing in popularity. Some companies in the probiotic soda space include Culture Pop, Live and Loop, which uses produce that would otherwise be discarded and gives it a second life in its sodas and other products. The team critically analyze whether probiotics are effective in maintaining gut health and what claims companies can make when advertising probiotic sodas.
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