Does charcoal-boiled yogurt really use “charcoal” to burn

Yogurt is a popular dairy product. It is healthy and delicious, and suitable for people with lactose intolerance. But eating too much of the same food is inevitably boring, so many new yogurt varieties have appeared on the market. One of them has a color that resembles weak coffee—it is charcoal-fired yogurt that is very popular among fashionable young people. You may be wondering, is there any relationship between charcoal-fired coffee and charcoal-fired yogurt?

Charcoal roasted coffee refers to coffee beans that are roasted with charcoal fire. Its color is black and produces a special burnt (mushy) flavor. Char-boiled yogurt is not directly related to charcoal fire, but it also has a burnt smell (paste), which is why it is called “charcoal”. Of course, the principle of the generation of burnt aroma (paste) is the same, which is the “non-enzymatic browning” of food, which is the famous Maillard reaction.

Maillard reaction refers to a series of reactions between amino acids or proteins and carbohydrates when food is heated. Taking fried dough sticks as an example, the color gradually changes from light yellow to golden, and then to brown (paste). In addition to the color change, this process will also produce a lot of aroma substances. This is how the burnt (paste) smell of charcoal-fired coffee and charcoal-fired yogurt comes from. Therefore, for food processing, sometimes Maillard reaction is a “good thing”, which can improve the hue and flavor of food.

But sometimes, Maillard reaction should be avoided as much as possible, as is the case with milk and milk powder processing. This is because heating will partially destroy heat-sensitive nutrients, including vitamins, lactoferrin, DHA, etc. For dairy products pursuing the original flavor, moderate processing and avoiding Maillard reaction is the best choice. Some imported milk at room temperature is obviously yellow or even a little brown when poured into the cup, which is actually the Maillard reaction caused by the long UHT sterilization time. Compared to similar white products, such milk is not recommended.

For the “charcoal-fired yogurt” that pursues a special flavor, a small amount of nutrient loss may be acceptable, but how does it do it? Generally, yogurt is fermented at about 30°C. How can there be a “charcoal-burning” effect? In fact, the Maillard reaction of charcoal-fired yogurt occurs before the milk is fermented. The producer uses a long-term preheating process to first change the color of the milk before making yogurt. In an era when the food industry generally pursues “moderate processing”, charcoal-boiled yogurt can be said to be a bit “surprise”.

Compared with traditional yogurt, what is the nutritional value of char-grilled yogurt? In fact, due to the variety of products, there is no way to generalize. The key is to look at the nutrition label, especially the content of protein, fat, carbohydrate and calcium. If you rarely drink yogurt or want to change the flavor, there is no problem choosing the charcoal grilled flavor. At least from the perspective of dietary structure, drinking milk or yogurt can increase calcium and protein intake. No matter which flavor of yogurt, the nutritional structure is generally similar. However, if you have the habit of drinking yogurt every day, it is better to choose traditional yogurt, mainly because it is more cost-effective.

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