The number one milk alternative
Milk substitutes are enjoying ever-increasing popularity and demand. For this reason, plant-based milk alternatives are becoming increasingly available. The oat drink is right at the top of the popularity scale. Oat drinks are now stronger within the category of plant-based milk alternatives than soy and almond drinks combined, reports the Frankfurter Rundschau¹. In the early days, the product was called "oat milk," but EU legislation now disallows the name because the term "milk" is reserved for animal milk from cows, sheep, goats or horses. In the trade, the milk substitute is therefore available as "oat drink" and this has so much to offer.
From oat grain to oat drink
Oat drinks consist largely of water and, as the name suggests, oats. The starting material is oat grains. These are cleaned and hulled ("dehulled") before further processing. They are next processed into oat flakes and then ground, for example, using a Tietjen hammer mill. The oatmeal is then mixed with water. An enzyme is added to this emulsion, which starts a fermentation. After a few days, the emulsion is dehydrated to a syrup. At the bottling plant, the oat drink is filled with water to the desired concentration of 10-11% oat content. If necessary, flavourings such as vanilla, chocolate or almond are added.
Qualitative production is crucial for a high-quality end product. This includes the milling step, and that's where Tietjen comes in. The high-speed mills VL3, VDK 5 and VDK 7 are recommended for grinding the oats.
This high-speed mills are available in the stainless steel version. These are all easy to clean and are also equipped with wear plates. As a result, the mills enjoy particularly good protection against wear and thus a long service life. The VDKs also come up trumps with beaters that can be turned and changed quickly and easily with a special changing device. Efficiency is also the focus here. Since the high-speed hammer mills are designed for industrial use, oatmeal can be produced 24/7 for the production of the popular oat beverages.
Sustainability dominates the market
Oat drinks not only taste delicious, they are also environmentally friendly in production. Compared with semi-fat cow's milk, they consume only 40 percent of the energy needed to produce them and at the same time require 80 percent less floor space. ² Benefits that are not only well received by society, but also impress in production.
In the EU, oats are also grown without the use of genetic engineering. In addition, oat drinks are produced almost exclusively from organically grown oat grains, which also benefits the environment. So those who choose oat drinks consume with a better conscience. Sustainable consumption is becoming increasingly important to consumers, which means that the market for oat drinks will also continue to grow over the next five years. In the EU and the UK alone, sales are expected to increase from €3.4 billion to €5.0 billion from 2020 to 2025, according to an ING study. The Boston Consulting Group even forecasts a fivefold increase in global sales of vegan dairy products to 54 million tons by 2035.
¹ Frankfurter Rundschau, 13th May 2020
² Albert Schweitzer Stiftung, 03rd March 2018