Thursday, July 30, 2015

Double Cream Yoghurt? Read the labels!

Since we returned from Greece, Lynne has been buying various brands of Double Cream yoghurt, as she finds a daily dose of this delicious food has improved her general health enormously and puts some of the missing calcium back into her diet that she can't get from milk, to which she is allergic. Banting has also make the demand grow. These yoghurts come in 1 litre containers. Many dairies are now making them, but we wanted to let you know that they are NOT all the same and they are not all as they seem. 
They all contain sugar, which for plain yoghurt is nonsensical. We think that if this is naturally occurring lactase, they should say so. We strain our yoghurt overnight to get rid of much of the whey, which is the sour watery bit. It also makes it thicker. None of the brands declare the bacillus used; knowing that they are using live and active cultures would be appreciated. Most of them thicken with starch and declare the sugar. We would like to see the unnecessary starch, which seems to be there to thicken the yoghurt, removed.
Prices in Cape Town vary from R19.50 to R25.95. according to the brand or supermarket specials. The only one we have seen with a higher price than this is from Woolworths at R32.50, which is why we haven't tried it. Its oval container looks the same as the Pick n Pay brand, so we suspect it's the same dairy.
Taste and Texture Award of the week goes to Pick n Pay for its ultra cream yoghurt, which contains both full cream milk and cream and has a Glycaemic carbohydrate (GC) content of 6g per 100g.   Sadly, 2.8g of this is sugar. They use an antifungal called Pimaricin which apparently is also an antibiotic. Stabilisers but no starch.
Fair Cape also has cream in it and declares Unsweetened on the label but has a GC of 6.7g per 100g of which 5.9 is sugar. Preservative is Potassium Sorbate and they do add modified starch (which is an added carbohydrate) and milk powder. Crystal Valley have both cream and full cream milk, skimmed milk powder, modified cornstarch (added carbohydrate), a vegetable based stabiliser. The one we like the least is Lancewood, which has no cream in it, also says unsweetened and has the grainy texture of cottage cheese or quark and is not at all creamy. It has a GC of 6g per 100g of which 4.6 is sugar. It has Stabiliser, whey powder, slimmed milk powder, caseinate, whey concentrate, whole milk powder, carbonate, citrate and a preservative, Natamycin, which our research shows is the same as Pimaricin. One of the other yoghurts we have not bought apparently has added gelatin to thicken it, which vegetarians cannot eat but might not notice.


How do they make thick yoghurt in Greece? They reduce full cream milk and then add the bacillus. Nothing else, it is kept at blood temperature until it sets thick, then refrigerated. If we had the time, we would make our own, but we don't. Preservative may be very necessary for a commercial product, but we would hope that they don't use anything that is suspect.
© John & Lynne Ford, Adamastor & Bacchus 2016

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