Researchers at the Laboratory for Food Products Technology of the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University (KazaNARU) have developed new varieties of traditional dry cottage cheese called, “Kurt”. It can be made from cow, goat, or camel’s milk. It is concentrated sour milk (kayak) and has been in use in the Central Asian region for centuries. Nomadic tribes developed “Kurt” to preserve milk for a long period of time. In its new form, they could carry milk on their long journeys on horseback.
Recently, we visited the Laboratory for Food Product Technology at KazNARU Agro-Tec Hub where Professor Dr. Yerenova Bibipatyma showed us the new varieties of ‘Kurt” that their team has developed. Professor Yerenova informed us that the University has a patent for the new varieties of “Kurt” which it has developed after analyzing the health benefits of adding new content to “Kurt”.
“Kurt is a unique product that contains a large number of vitamins, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Microorganisms that are present in fermented milk products increase their biological value, calcium speeds up metabolism and strengthens bone tissue, vitamin A improves the functioning of the visual system, vitamin E helps to saturate the body with oxygen, reduces the aging process of cells, vitamin D helps reduce the likelihood of cancer cells,” said the Professor.
Scientists at the KazNARU Innovation Center for Technology and Food Quality have developed a component composition and a method for producing “Kurt” from cow, camel, goat, and sheep milk with the use of enriching additives of plant origin. The uniqueness of the newly developed “Kurt” by KazNARU lies in the use of enriching additives of plant origin (blackcurrant, raspberry, sea buckthorn, spinach juice, spirulina extract), which provide high nutritional and biological value and long shelf life.
Professor Yerenova says that the inclusion of blackcurrant juice in “Kurt” provides antimicrobial, neuroprotective, hypotensive, immunomodulatory, and diaphoretic effects of varying severity, as well as powerful anti-radiation, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can be useful in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
Blackcurrant is rich in vitamins C (0.25%), B1 (0.2%), B6 (0.4%), and E (0.7%), due to the high concentration of ascorbic acid, said Professor Yerenova.
Blackcurrant juice gives the new “Kurt” an attractive light purple color with a lilac tint, a delicate aroma, slightly sweet and sour taste.
Raspberry juice addition to “Kurt” is another innovation. Raspberry is known for lowering the level of carcinogens in the body, it’s good for our liver, activates metabolism, and may help in lowering blood sugar. Raspberry juice gives Kurt an attractive rich purple-pink color, a pleasant aroma, and a delicate sweet aftertaste.
Another variety of KazNARU “Kurt” contains sea buckthorn juice, which has a juicy color and aroma. Sea buckthorn can be useful for gastric and duodenal ulcers as it helps in reducing acidity in the stomach. Sea buckthorn may also help in cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol levels and strengthening immunity.
The sea buckthorn juice gives “Kurt” an attractive and rich natural pale orange color with a predominance of sea buckthorn aroma, light sea buckthorn sourness harmonizes with the traditional milky taste.
A variety of KazNARU “Kurt” contains spinach, which has a high content of iron and several health benefits. “Kurt” enriched with spinach juice, has an attractive appearance, an unusual color – light green, and an unobtrusive aroma with a pleasant aftertaste.
Yet another variety of KazNARU “Kurt contains spirulina extract as an enricher. Spirulina has a large amount of the blue pigment phycocyanin, the only known substance that can stop the growth of cancer cells. Spirulina is a safe marine microalga that provides enriched nutrient soil to maintain optimal health and well-being and is an essential element in the prevention and comprehensive treatment of diseases of the heart, blood vessels, digestive system, anemia, thyroid, liver, and kidney pathologies.
Kurt with spirulina extract acquires a rich dark green color without a specific smell and taste.
Under the method developed at KazNARU laboratory, “Kurt” is dried in a ventilated room at a temperature of 20-25°C and a relative humidity of 60-65% for 36 hours. Under optimal conditions, the new compositions of “Kurt” can be stored for more than 24 months without any particular loss of consumer properties since the absence of sucrose and an abundance of acidic compounds creates an unfavorable environment for various microflora.
KazNARU experts believe that once it receives the certification, KazNARU “Kurt” will be ready for industrial production and exports.