Yoghurt lovers see Greek Yogurt as a shoe lover would see a product from Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Choo – They say it’s premium, it’s luxury, it’s the best. The rave with it amongst yoghurt lovers cannot be over-emphasized. But what really differentiates Greek yoghurt from the regular yoghurt? Is it the milk used? Is there some rare element used in the processing that tags it as premium? Or is the bacteria culture used imported from some parts of Antarctica? Let’s see.
To those that have had both Greek Yoghurt and the regular yoghurt, you’d have observed that there is a major difference in both the taste and texture of each. Greek yoghurt by nature is much thicker and by taste, tarty. Regular yoghurt isn’t as thick, has less viscosity and is more sweetened.
Both types of yoghurt actually start off with the same ingredients – milk and bacteria cultures (Steptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus), which ferment the lactose (milk sugar) in the milk and produce lactic acid.
Where the difference between both comes in is after the fermentation of the milk, there is a milk protein which is known as Whey and is strained off to give solid yoghurt. In the regular yoghurt, the whey is strained twice which still leaves some liquid in the yoghurt and hence, a runny texture. The Greek yoghurt, however, is strained up to three times or more until desired thickness is achieved. This straining process is what makes all the difference between Greek yoghurt and regular yoghurt.
Due to this concentration, Greek yoghurt has more protein than regular yoghurt which is the solid yoghurt left behind during the process. The whey protein strained off contains most of the sodium, carbohydrates, and calcium, so there are more of those in the regular yoghurt. There is so much volume of whey liquid lost that it takes at least four cups of raw milk to make Greek yoghurt compared to the 1 cup of raw milk you’d use to get 1 cup of regular yoghurt.
As a result, Greek yoghurt is much more expensive and hence, a premium sort of yoghurt. Regular yoghurt, however, has a smooth consistency and may vary in thickness depending on the manufacturer. Other ingredients such as fruits, chips, almonds, beets, etc can also be added to regular yoghurt that can make up for the missed thickness and protein in greek yoghurt.
The health benefits each offer are very similar and overall, both good for consumption and a healthy lifestyle.