What Makes a Great Diabetic Shake?

With many diabetes experts recommending small, frequent meals throughout the day, diabetic shakes can be a delicious way to stay on schedule. They provide balanced nutrition with no added sugar, helping diabetics maintain glycemic control. A high-quality vanilla diabetic shake should have a noticeable vanilla aroma with no inappropriate off notes. The proper taste balance will be created by a low bitterness and a moderate sweetness that avoids reaching sickly sweet levels. The pronounced vanilla flavor will be balanced by other flavors, including soy and lactose. There should be no off notes, such as metallic, plastic, packaging or medicinal notes. Diabetic shakes should be a smooth and enjoyable drink, with nothing detracting from the overall flavor. With a viscosity similar to that of half and half, the shakes should have some thickness. Their texture should be smooth and creamy without leaving a chalky coating in the mouth. The mouthfeel should be clean, without leaving a residue or coating that makes it difficult to swallow. Shakes should have a short finish without any lingering aftertaste.

Tasting terms

  • off notes

    Inappropriate flavors, such as rancid or oxidized oils, freezer burn, plastic, metallic or other flavors acquired from a food’s packaging and storage. Example: Canned pineapple that picks up a metallic flavor from its can or stale flavors from freezer burn in a frozen entrée are types of off notes.

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • sweet

    One of the basic tastes; often considered pleasing while exhibiting characteristics of sugar. Example: Honey, ripe fruits and syrup all have a pronounced sweet component.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • chalky

    The tendency of some foods or ingredients to have a fine or powdery texture that clings to the mouth. Example: Antacid liquids and meal replacement drinks can have an unpleasant chalky texture.

  • mouthfeel

    The texture experienced while food is being eaten. Examples include smooth, chalky, grainy or greasy. Example: Super premium ice cream is often described as having a rich and smooth mouthfeel.

  • aftertaste

    The taste remaining in the mouth after eating or drinking; sometimes associated with unpleasant flavors or bitterness. Example: Some diet sweeteners contain notes of bitterness.