We are all aware that yogurt is a dairy product, meaning it comes from milk. But how? Well, in order to prepare yogurt, you will need to add a mixture of lactic acid bacteria into the milk. These lactic acid bacteria are also known as "yogurt cultures" in some places.
You must know that not all forms of bacteria are harmful to the human body. Some species of bacteria, particularly Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are useful and edible microorganisms and are used in various cooking purposes. Adding lactic acid bacteria in fresh milk aids the process of fermentation, thus helping the lactose present naturally in the milk to get converted to lactic acid. This lactic acid helps in thickening of the milk and adding to it's texture, thus ensuring the formation of thick yogurt.
It's a prevalent myth that curd and yogurt are basically the same product. While both of them are dairy products, curd and yogurt have their differences, ranging from the methods of preparation to the beneficiary factors. The process of making curd is relatively a lot simpler than that of yogurt.
In order to prepare curd, one needs to add edible forms of acidic substances such as lemon juice, vinegar etc. Adding these acidic substances would help the process of "curdling of milk" and help to generate curd. Curd is rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamin B6, iron and potassium.
In order to prepare yogurt, one needs to add a significant amount of lactic acid bacteria such asLactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus into the milk. These bacterias ensure fermentation of the milk, thus converting it to yogurt. Yogurt is rich in nutrients like Vitamin B12, calcium and phosphorus and is nutritionally much more valuable than curd!
Yogurt or curd is definitely a better and modified version of fresh milk. Fresh milk is definitely a very healthy source of nutrition for children and adults alike.
However, if we are to make a comparison, curd or yogurt is fairly richer in nutritional value as compared to fresh milk. Yogurt is a rich source of nutrients like calcium, protein, vitamin B2, B12, iodine and zinc. But, all these nutrients are also present in milk.
Then why is yogurt or curd better than milk? The fermentation process involved in preparation of yogurt. Fermentation makes yogurt much easier to digest, thus making the process of absorption of the said nutrients much easier than milk. This is why people include yogurt in their diet to make a complete, healthy meal for themselves.
Although buttermilk originates from fresh milk just like yogurt, they are not the same thing. Buttermilk is a by-product of milk that is produced during production of butter. Buttermilk can, however, also be commercially prepared. In a commercial production setup, buttermilk is produced by pasteurization of milk by acidic compounds, that enhances the taste of the milk to a buttery flavour and give it the texture and smoothness of butter. When it comes to its nutrient value, buttermilk is fairly rich in vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol)
Yogurt, on the other hand, is produced by fermentation of milk with the help of two bacterias, Lactobacillus sp. and Streptococcus sp. There are various types of yogurts available in the market : sweetened or flavoured yogurts, containing additive sugars, fruit extracts etc. and unsweetened yogurt contains raw, unprocessed yogurt without any additives. Yogurt is known for its higher quantities of vitamin B-12.
Yogurt is indeed a great addition to the diet. Yogurt, as you know, is made out of a mixture of lactic acid bacteria and fresh milk. Since the microorganisms are allowed to form cultures in the milk, aiding the process of fermentation, it is also known as cultured yogurt. The sugar molecules present in the milk are fermented by these microorganisms, leading to the production of lactic acid that gives cultured yogurt it's characteristic texture and taste.
There are several health benefits of cultured yogurts. Let's take a look at some of them :
Although all yogurts are cultured by growing bacteria mixture on milk, not all strains of bacteria are probiotic.
The word probiotic means "life supporting". Hence, probiotics are bacterias that are friendly for living creatures. When we talk of probiotic yoghurt, we mean that the particular brand manufactures yogurt that has been prepared by friendly bacteria cultures. Companies which produce yogurt containing probiotics are typically far superior in quality and have proven to be of greater health benefits. Adding such yogurt to your diet can tend to be a healthier way to enrich your diet. It is also known to improve gut health of the individual and cure any gastric problems.
If you have started out with a batch of yogurt, don't worry! You can at least reuse the same yogurt for 5-7 days!
The presence of fermenting bacteria, Lactobacillus and Streptococcus is crucial for the fermentation procedure to continue. Due to this, even the tiniest amounts of microorganisms need to be present in the yogurt batch in order to reuse it again and prepare fresh yogurt out of it.