Over the past few years there has been a boom in the plant-based drink market, with the industry expected to reach over $16 billion in 2018. Oat drinks are the latest dairy-free contender rising in popularity in homes and cafes across the globe.
Oat drinks can come in many forms and flavours. From standard oat "milk" to thicker varieties that foam well and are perfect for barista-style coffee. They can also have flavours added like chocolate, vanilla or strawberry, for a creamy, smooth and tasty beverage. Oat-based drinks can be used in the same ways as other milks - pour it over cereal, add it to tea or coffee, use it in smoothies and cooking or drink it as it is.
Many people opt for oat-based drinks because of their good environmental impact and their many health benefits. Oat drinks offer a nutritious alternative for people with a nut or dairy allergy and are packed with fibre, low in saturated fats and full of vitamins.
Made from a base of oats and water, oat drinks are relatively simple and cost effective to produce. After the oats have been harvested, the first stage in the process is milling where oats are mixed with water. Enzymes are added to break the oat starch down and create natural sweetness. From here any shells are removed and extra ingredients and flavors added. Finally heat treatment extends the product's shelf life before it's packaged.
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