Production of Yoghurt
The production of yoghurt is a relatively simple procedure. Milk, which can be fortified with milk powder to give a thicker product, is pasteurised, cooled and inoculated with starter bacteria, which ferment the milk, causing it to clot or gel. This factsheet gives advice on yoghurt production.
Yoghurt is a fermented milk, which has its origins in Eastern Europe but is now consumed throughout the world. The French called it the milk of eternity, as it was believed to have therapeutic powers and give long life to those who consumed it. France is the leading consumer of yoghurt in Europe, followed by Ireland, with the average person consuming 21.3kg and 13.2kg per annum, respectively. The yoghurt market has been growing steadily in recent years, benefitting from yoghurt’s image as both a healthy alternative for snacking or meals, and also as a treat or dessert. Health and wellness trends have driven the growth of naturally lower- sugar varieties such as Greek yoghurt, fat-free yoghurts, high-protein products, as well as increased offerings in cholesterol-reducing and added-nutritional value yoghurts. The demand for dairy-free and plant-based products is also growing, and this demand extends beyond traditional vegetarian/vegan consumers. High-value growth has been observed in sour milk products, largely due to growing demand for kefir (a fermented milk drink), a trend noted in markets other than Ireland as well.
The production of yoghurt is a relatively simple procedure. Milk, which can be fortified with milk powder to give a thicker product, is pasteurised, cooled and inoculated with starter bacteria, which ferment the milk, causing it to clot or gel. The differentiation in yoghurt formats is due to changes in the production method.
For example, set yoghurt is packed immediately after inoculation and is incubated in the package. Stirred yoghurt is produced by adding fruit and other condiments after setting, followed by a gentle stirring motion. Drinking yoghurt is produced by adding fruit juice and other flavouring compounds to a thick liquid using high speed mixers. Frozen yoghurt is a set yoghurt, combined with sugar and stabilisers before being pasteurised and frozen.
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