Most people think yogurt when they think fermented food. However, there are many foods that are made from fermenting dairy products. Right from cheese to sour cream to cultured butter and buttermilk, acidophilus milk and more.
Yogurt probably holds pride of place currently in the fermented foods market. You get yogurt that is set and stirred and you’ll find that it comes in a whole lot of flavors – from plain to savory, fruit flavored and they can be had in both soft-serve and frozen options.
How really is yogurt made? Considering that yogurt has been around for thousands of years, many countries will still follow their own traditional methods to make it. It’s an interesting study by itself – the different ways it is made and the different rituals and myths that surround it.
The Bulgarians proudly declare that they were the ones who made yogurt popular. There probably isn’t one Bulgarian who doesn’t eat yogurt – in fact it is a staple from the time an infant is three months old. It has been surmised that this is the reason why there are so many people who live a long healthy life in this nation.
Commercial Production of Yogurt
Yogurt was for the most part, something one made at home with a yogurt starter till the beginning of the twentieth century. Then Isaac Carasso made it a small commercial venture in Barcelona. When World War II broke out, he moved to America and his business which was named Danone after his son Daniel was relocated, renamed to Dannon – and grew…..the rest is huge dairy history.
When yogurt is making is commercial, the milk is first tested to make sure that it is free from antibiotics and chemicals. It also has to have a very low bacteria count. This is necessary in order to make a good yogurt. Most countries use cow’s milk though there are places in the world where buffalo milk or goat’s milk is preferred. The milk is then inoculated with a yogurt culture and then left to set. After the necessary setting time, it is refrigerated. A cold chain is essential for this product in order that it does not spoil.
Alternately, it can go through the UHT process in which case it can survive ambient temperatures for maybe a few weeks.
Yogurt is fast becoming a favorite all over the world as a health food – easy to digest, it is great even by itself as a meal and can be had for breakfast, at noon or at night. With fruit or flavored, it makes a great dessert and is such a healthy alternative to the fattening ones most of us are used to. Plain, it tastes great too.