The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

How is yoghurt made?

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Yoghurt is a popular fermented food that contains 9 important nutrients. Live starter cultures (beneficial bacteria) such as Lactobacillus are added for acid fermentation (conversion of lactose or milk sugar to acid), which gives yoghurt its characteristic taste.

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Yoghurt is a popular fermented milk product and a source of protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamins B12 and B2, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.

Whole, low-fat or skimmed milk can be used to produce yoghurt. The milk is homogenised, pasteurised and cooled. A live starter culture is then introduced, which converts some of the lactose (the naturally occurring milk sugar) to lactic acid, thus acidifying the milk. This gives yoghurt its thick, smooth consistency and characteristic flavour.

To prevent moisture separation (wheying off), edible stabilisers are added during production. Sugar, sweeteners, fruit or fruit flavours may also be added. The yoghurt is then packaged and stored at below 5 °C.

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