A popular product of choice for many Australians at breakfast and snack time, yoghurt is known for being one of the first popularised ‘health foods’.
A great source of protein and an important tool for bone growth and development, yoghurt contains 10 essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and riboflavin.
The probiotics added to yoghurt also mean it can restore the balance between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in the stomach.
Produced by a mixture and combination of multiple dairy products, yoghurt is made by mixing milk power in with milk which means the milk is now homogenised and pasteurised.
Bacterial starter cultures are then used to convert lactose (the sugar in milk) into lactic acid, which helps set the yoghurt. The yoghurt is then stored in controlled temperatures (42°C to 43°C) between four and six hours with fruit or flavourings occasionally added to enhance the taste.
In Australia, consumers eat around around 7.5 kilograms of yoghurt per year with most using it as a healthy snack to fuel their day.
Keep reading to find out more about the different types of yoghurt:
Natural yoghurt has no added flavours or sweeteners, and a clean, slightly acidic, tart flavour.
Fruit, vanilla and honey are among popular choices. Most have added sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance the flavours.
Greek and Greek-style yoghurt
Traditional Greek yoghurt is made through a straining process where natural yoghurt is strained of its whey, leaving a thick product, somewhere between the texture of yoghurt and labne (yoghurt cheese).
Traditional strained Greek yoghurt is naturally higher in protein than other yoghurts. Greek-style yoghurt is not strained, but thickened through the addition of milk solids (like cream) and stabilisers, which produce a rich, creamy and silky texture.
Set yoghurts are fermented in tubs. They are fairly thick and have a flat surface with any fruit or flavourings at the base. Stirred yoghurt is fermented in bulk with the fruit or flavouring stirred in and then placed in individual containers.
Stirred yoghurt is made when fermentation is carried out in bulk and not in individual containers. Once the fermentation reaches the desired level, the yoghurt is pumped through a cooler to stop fermentation. Fruit or flavouring is then stirred in.
Drinking yoghurt is produced in a similar way to stirred yoghurt. The body is then diluted and mixed with a blend of flavours, fruit or berry juices.
Frozen yoghurt is made when a blend of sugars, stabilisers, emulsifiers and flavours are added to natural stirred yoghurt.
For more nutritional information about Australian dairy products, and a range of fun facts and recipes visit Dairy Australia.