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Yoghurt, full fat
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 257 kJ (61 kcal)
Carbohydrates 4.7 g
- Sugars 4.7 g (*)
Fat 3.3 g
- saturated 2.1 g
- monounsaturated 0.9 g
Protein 3.5 g
Vitamin A equiv. 27 μg (3%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.14 mg (9%)
Calcium 121 mg (12%)
(*) Lactose content diminishes during storage.
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Cacık, a Turkish cold appetiser yoghurt variety

Yogurt, or yoghurt, is a dairy product made by bacterial fermentation of milk. The lactose in the milk becomes lactic acid when it is fermented. Lactic acid acts on the protein in the milk to make yoghurt thick and sour. Yoghurt made from cow's milk is called dairy yoghurt. It is produced using a culture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus bacteria. The milk is heated to about 80°C to kill any bad bacteria and to change the milk proteins so that they set together instead of becoming curds. After it is cooled to about 45°C, the bacteria culture is added, and the milk is kept at that temperature for 4 to 7 hours to ferment. Soy yoghurt is made from soy milk.

People have been making and eating yoghurt for at least 5,400 years. Today, it is eaten all over the world. A nutritious food which is especially good for your health, it is rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.

History of the word[change | edit source]

The word "yoghurt" comes from Turkish: yoğurt,[1] and is related to the words yoğurmak 'to knead' and yoğun "dense" or "thick".[2] The letter ğ was used to be written as "gh" when people translated the Turkish language.

In Bulgaria, yogurt is called "кисело мляко" (kiselo mlyako), which means "sour milk"; in Serbia, yogurt is also called "кисело млеко" (kiselo mleko), but Serbian yogurt is a thick, milky liquid.

In English, there are many ways to spell the word. In Australia and New Zealand "yoghurt" is the main spelling.[3][4] In the United Kingdom "yoghurt" and "yogurt" are both used, but "yoghurt" is more common, and "yoghourt" is also sometimes used.[5] In the United States, "yogurt'" is the usual spelling. In Canada, "yogurt" is most common among English speakers, but many brands use "yogourt," because it is correct in both French and English.

The word is usually said with a short o (how to say: /ˈjɒɡət/) in the UK, with a long o (/ˈjoʊɡərt/) in North America, Australia and South Africa, and with either a long or short o in New Zealand and Ireland.

History[change | edit source]

The earliest yoghurts were probably made by wild bacteria and happened by chance.[6]

The oldest writings mentioning yogurt were by Pliny the Elder, who said that some people knew how to thicken the milk into something which was sour but tasty.[7] The use of yoghurt by medieval Turks is recorded in the books Diwan Lughat al-Turk by Mahmud Kashgari and Kutadgu Bilig by Yusuf Has Hajib written in the 11th century.[8][9] Both texts mention the word "yoghurt" in different sections and describe how it was used.[8][9] Francis I suffered from a serious diarrhoea which no French doctor could cure. His ally Suleiman the Magnificent sent a doctor, who cured the patient with yoghurt.[10][11] The grateful French king spread around the information about the food which had cured him.

Raita is a food made with yoghurt that is popular in India.

Until the 1900s, yoghurt was eaten all the time by people in the Russian Empire (and especially Central Asia and the Caucasus), Western Asia, South Eastern Europe/Balkans, Central Europe, and India. Stamen Grigorov (1878–1945), a Bulgarian student of medicine in Geneva, first examined the bacteria in Bulgarian yogurt. In 1905 he said that it contained a round and a rod-like lactic acid bacteria. In 1907 the rod-like bacteria was called Lactobacillus bulgaricus (now Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus). The Russian Nobel laureate biologist Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, from the Institut Pasteur in Paris, was influenced by Grigorov's work and made a hypothesis that eating yoghurt regularly was the reason why Bulgarian peasants lived for so long. Mechnikov believed that Lactobacillus was needed for good health, and worked to make yoghurt popular through Europe.

In 1919, a Sephardic Jewish entrepreneur named Isaac Carasso started a small yoghurt business in Barcelona and named the business Danone ("little Daniel") after his son. The business later expanded to the United States, where it was called Dannon.

Tarator is a cold soup made of yoghurt popular in Bulgaria and Turkey.

Yoghurt with fruit jam added to it was patented in 1933 by the Radlická Mlékárna dairy in Prague.[12] It was introduced to the United States in 1947, by Dannon.

Yoghurt was first brought to the United States by Armenian immigrants Sarkis and Rose Colombosian, who started "Colombo and Sons Creamery" in Andover, Massachusetts in 1929.[13][14] Colombo Yogurt was first sent around New England in a horse-drawn wagon with the Armenian word "madzoon" written on it. This was later changed to "yogurt", the Turkish name of the product. In the 1950s and 60s yoghurt became very popular in the United States because it was sold as a health food. By the late 20th century yoghurt had become a common food in America and Colombo Yogurt was sold in 1993 to General Mills, who stopped using the brand name in 2010.[15]

How it is good for health[change | edit source]

Tzatziki is an appetiser made with yoghurt, popular in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, where it is called Dry Tarator.

Yoghurt has a lot of protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 in it.[16] It is better for you than milk is. Many people who are lactose-intolerant can enjoy yoghurt, because much of the lactose in the milk has become lactic acid.[17]

Yoghurt also has medical uses.[18] and in preventing antibiotic-associated diarrhea.[19]

Yoghurt is believed to promote good gum health, possibly because the lactic acids in yoghurt encourage good bacteria.[20]

A study in the International Journal of Obesity (11 January 2005) found that eating low-fat yoghurt can help weight loss. In the study, obese people who ate 3 servings of low-fat yoghurt a day lost 22% more weight than the control group who only cut back on calories and did not have extra calcium. They also lost 81% more abdominal fat.[21]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Merriam-Webster Online - Yogurt entry
  2. Ahmet Toprak's article
  3. "yoghurt n." The Australian Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition. Ed. Bruce Moore. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
  4. "yoghurt n." The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary. Tony Deverson. Oxford University Press 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Retrieved 24 May 2007.
  5. Peters, Pam (2004). The Cambridge Guide to English Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 587-588.
  6. Grigoroff, Stamen Étude sur une lait fermenté comestible. Le “Kissélo mléko” de Bulgarie. Revue Médicale de la Suisse Romande. Genéve. Georg&G., Libraires-Éditeurs. Librairie de L’Université. 1905
  7. The Natural History of Pliny, tr. John Bostock and H.T. Riley, London: Bell, 1856-93, Volume 3, p. 84: "It is a remarkable circumstance, that the barbarous nations which subsist on milk have been for so many ages either ignorant of the merits of cheese, or else have totally disregarded it; and yet they understand how to thicken milk and form there from an acrid kind of milk with a pleasant flavour".
  8. 8.0 8.1 Toygar, Kamil (1993). Türk Mutfak Kültürü Üzerine Araştırmalar. Türk Halk Kültürünü Araştırma ve Tanıtma Vakfı. p. 29. http://books.google.com/books?id=Ai61AAAAIAAJ&dq=yogurt+kutadgu+divan&q=divan+kutadgu#search_anchor. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ögel, Bahaeddin (1978). Türk Kültür Tarihine Giriş: Türklerde Yemek Kültürü. Kültür Bakanlığı Yayınları. p. 35. http://books.google.com/books?id=NuvVUlWbikYC&q=yogurt#search_anchor. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  10. Rosenthal, Sylvia Dworsky (1978). Fresh Food. Bookthrift Co.. p. 157. ISBN 978-0876902769. http://books.google.com/books?id=6ZwvAAAAYAAJ. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  11. Coyle, L. Patrick (1982). The World Encyclopedia of Food. Facts On File Inc.. p. 763. ISBN 978-0871964175. http://books.google.com/books?id=iuPJlbBOst8C. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  12. "První ovocný jogurt se narodil u Vltavy" (in Czech). 23 July 2002. http://ekonomika.idnes.cz/test.asp?r=test&c=A020723_103620_test_jan. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
  13. "The Massachusetts Historical Society | Object of the Month". http://www.masshist.org/objects/2004june.cfm.
  14. "Colombo Yogurt - First U.S. Yogurt Brand - Celebrates 75 Years". http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Colombo+Yogurt+-+First+U.S.+Yogurt+Brand+-+Celebrates+75+Years%3B...-a0116520624.
  15. "General Mills to discontinue producing Colombo Yogurt". Eagle-Tribune. January 29, 2010. http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x338297210/General-Mills-to-discontinue-producing-Colombo-Yogurt. Retrieved 2010-04-29.
  16. Yale-New Haven Hospital nutrition advisor - Understanding yogurt
  17. Yogurt--an autodigesting source of lactose. J.C. Kolars et al., New England Journal of Medicine, 310:1-3 (1984)
  18. O. Adolfsson et al., "Yogurt and gut function", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 80:2:245-256 (2004) [1]
  19. Ripudaman S. Beniwal, et al., "A Randomized Trial of Yogurt for Prevention of Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea", Digestive Diseases and Sciences 48:10:2077-2082 (October, 2003) doi:10.1023/A:1026155328638
  20. "Yogurt Good for Gums, Health", dentalblogs.com (February 26, 2008)
  21. Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects