For centuries, yoghurt has been a staple in many diets across the globe with different regions and consumer diets all playing their part in influencing this popular dairy delight.
It has stood the test of time as it’s been able to survive the ‘fat free’ fads, provide an excellent source of carbo-free food and is hugely adaptable for use in a range of recipes, desserts, dips and drinks. The product’s success is in part due to its adaptability, whether it’s light and low fat, firm Greek style, thick and creamy or runny for inclusion in yoghurt or smoothie drinks.
Whichever yoghurt is produced, the process is largely the same. The milk is first heated to about 80 °C (176 °F) to kill any undesirable bacteria and then yoghurt cultures are added to begin the fermentation process (Streptococcus thermophiles and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, if you were wondering!).
The bacteria ferments the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk to produce lactic acid. Different strains of bacteria have slightly different fermentation processes, with some strains of bacteria producing a yogurt that is more acidic, more bitter or more sour.
The products also vary on fat contents, depending on which milk is used, with some yoghurts containing as little as 0 to 2% fat, while full fat natural yogurt can contain as much as 10% fat. Everyday ‘spoonable’ yoghurt typically contains 3-4% protein and remains an excellent natural source of calcium and dairy goodness.
Sales of yoghurt are booming with creamer, thicker Greek style yoghurt seeing a huge increase in popularity with sales across Europe rising by 94% between 2009 and 2014. Lighter and more runny yoghurt is proving equally popular with dieters as well as food manufacturers looking to add flavour to sauces or a new dimension to drinks.
At Meadow Foods we manufacture all types of yoghurt to suit all types of taste, food fashions or dieting desires. For more information on our range of bulk dairy ingredients, contact a member of the team.