If you find the taste of chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, or protein bars too boring, there is a tasty alternative for getting your daily dose of protein: ice cream.
Anatoly Derin, a young entrepreneur from Brooklyn, has created dërinice, an ice cream rich in protein and low in fat.
“I like to work out and my passion for health and fitness made me create this ice cream,” said Derin, an IT consultant, and an internetwork expert.
Derin has been in the IT industry for more than 15 years. While working as a consultant, he started to search for better ways to take protein supplements, which later turned into a passion.
“I was looking for a product to get my muscles to recover a little faster. Protein pills are too difficult to swallow, powders are too messy to prepare, and protein bars and ready-to-drink shakes have heavy aftertastes,” he explained.
“So I wanted to create something healthy but also delicious. I had to break this psychology that most healthy foods taste bad.”
Inventing Nutritious Ice Cream
In his free time, Derin devoted his energy to inventing a nutritious ice cream. He established his company Jambo Production LLC in 2012 and launched his first frozen dessert called Jambo protein ice cream.
The product was designed for fitness enthusiasts. It had 30 grams of milk protein (the same as a regular-sized protein shake), no sugar, and no dairy—yes, that’s possible if you separate the protein from the rest of the milk product.
The product wasn’t a complete success right from the get-go. So after receiving some feedback, he started to work on improving the product and the packaging.
He hired a food scientist, an ice cream expert, a nutritionist, and a marketing team to modify the ingredients, the flavor, and the packaging.
After a year of research and development, the team finally came up with dërinice, a low-fat, protein-rich ice cream. And the efforts paid off: The ice cream received the Best Dairy Dessert award by the Global Dairy Congress in 2014.
“It is easy to do regular ice cream: milk, sugar, cream, and that’s it. However, to develop a formula for a nutritious and tasty ice cream is an extremely difficult and tedious process,” he said.
After many trials and several dozens of test batches of ice cream, Derin and the team changed the original formula. First, they reduced the protein from 30 grams to 10 grams. “It was too much, and it is hard for the body to absorb all that protein in one serving. By reducing the protein, the ice cream became tastier,” said Derin.
Secondly, fat is what makes the ice cream soft. Since the product is low in fat, the team had to find a substitute for it. So they added three grams of prebiotic fiber to the formula. “Fiber is a magical ingredient and a natural substitute for the extra fat we needed. It gave a creamy texture to the ice cream,” said Derin.
In addition, they have added vitamins A and D3. So a cup of the ice cream contains as much A and D3 as an 8-ounce glass of milk.
“The new formula made it an ideal treat for children, athletes, seniors, diabetics, and anyone seeking a nutritious treat,” said Derin.
Each serving of dërinice contains 100 calories or less. It contains no added sugar, soy, gluten, and preservatives.
Creating the Flavors
The ice cream offers various natural flavors, including Midnight Chocolate Bliss, Dragon Green Tea, Chi Energy Coffee, and Vanilla Bean Dream. For Derin, the most difficult part of the whole process was creating the flavors.
“There is nothing artificial, and I had to find flavors that actually had appealing colors as well. For instance, there are about 90 different types of green tea available on the market. Most of them are yellow in color. So I had to select the one that had a naturally green color,” he said.
The product sells online and is shipped inside dry ice boxes. Dërinice will soon be offered in grocery stores and fitness centers.
“According to the surveys, 69 percent of the American population of age 20 and above are considered to be overweight or obese. And about 29 million people or 9.3 percent of the U.S. population have Type 2 diabetes. Our product holds a particular appeal as an alternative to traditional ice creams due to increasing health concerns,” said Derin.
There are few other brands in the market that already offer healthy ice creams, including GNC and Weight Watchers. But Derin claims they have carefully handpicked the ingredients and balanced the nutrition content. Also, dërinice provides more protein than the other brands. “So all individuals including those with active lifestyles and people with dietary requirements can enjoy the product,” said Derin.
Research and development is a continuous process for Derin. Though he still works as an IT consultant, he does not shy away from working extra hours to grow his ice cream brand.
He is currently working on a new formula that will include herbal ingredients like kava kava, mangosteen, and gingko biloba. He already filed for a patent for the new products.
“All you need is the passion for doing something, going after your goals, and never giving up. We live once. You either live your life to the fullest or you don’t. I leave no stones unturned,” said Derin.