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This section shares our experiences with developing "designer" yogurts - yogurts which have been assembled to provide specific characteristics for you, the consumer, and hopefully the yogurt maker.

How we do it?

Remember that yogurts are made from milk and  bacteria.... and each bacteria has it's own characteristics.  Some are synergistic - like saying 2 + 2 = 5. In other words, the desired effect of combining bacteria, and we are not microbiologists here, is greater than either one of the bacteria alone.  Dairy yoghurt is produced using a culture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus salivarius subsp. thermophilus bacteria - and this is taken directly from the wikipedia. By law, those two bacteria cultures must be present to call the product "yogurt." And these two bacteria, as we understand it, create a firm yogurt faster than either one of the bacteria cultures by themselves - thus being synergistic.

The challenge is to find out which bacteria does what for the consumer - well guarded trade secrets, we imagine.  But why worry about those things when we have both special cultures available from such places as the New England Cheesemakers Supply Company (the yogurts are shown about half way down the linked page - including the Y-1 Bulgarian yogurt culture) as well as your local supermarket (Activia)?

So for our first designer yogurt, we thought that the combination of Activia yogurt for it's health benefits and the Y-1 Bulgarian yogurt for it's creamy, rich taste would be a great combination. And late at night on June 12th, 2010, we put equal parts of Bulgaria culture and Activia culture into a tempered milk (with dry, powdered milk, a 50-50 sugar Splenda sweetener and a pinch of salt) which had been cooled to 110F from 190F.  Believe it or not, it cultured in under 2 hours! Now that is what we call synergistic!

Sure, anyone can toass two yogurts together - the question is, how did it taste?  Well we were very fortunate in that the two yogurts worked as planned, the Bulgarian culture provided a nice, creamy, delicious taste and the Activia, as we all know, provides the health benefits. We designate this as Y1-A for our records.

Our second designer yogurt came to us in testing Oikos Greek yogurt.  We used a combination of 25% Oikos culture, 50% Activia and the remaining 25% was the Y1 Bulgarian culture.  And luckily we ran out of milk... What happened next was a designer's dream come true.  We used 2 quarts of whole milk, 1 quart of distilled water and added 3 packets of dry, powdered non-fat milk, enough to make 3 quarts of milk. After mixing that into the liquid milk, we added the Splenda-sugar mix and a pinch of salt and the rest is history. The result was the thickest, creamiest, tastiest yogurt we have ever come across.

So where to now?  Well another culture we think is delicious is the Y-4 culture from the same source above and if we can combine that with Activia, we will have another designer yogurt.


Stay tuned.




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The Latest in News

August 5, 2011: Here
are some new ideas
we have used to create
fresh yogurt:

- we finally tried
using gelatin to
help thicken the 
resulting yogurt.
The good news is 
that the yogurt was
thicker than normal
but the bad news is:

+ that the gelatin we
used must have been
stale because it had
an off taste to it.
Perhaps using a 
flavored package 
might result in a
tasty flavored 

+ the yogurt would
not strain well to
make Greek yogurt.

- Also, we tried 
making double strength
powdered milk and 
using that for half 
the dairy. This worked
out very well.
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