Strained yoghurt is a very traditional fresh cheese product and is known by different names depending on the region of origin. In some countries it is referred to as Greek yoghurt; in the Middle East as labneh and in northern European countries they call it skyr.
In recent years these products have undergone a renaissance and strained yoghurt has become very popular all over the world. It began at the beginning of the 21st century in the U.S. with a single producer who wanted to bring this traditional product to U.S. consumers. And after a few years, with clever production and good marketing, people fell in love with strained yoghurt.
After this success story in the U.S. many other customers around the world wanted to be part of this story and invested in equipment for the production of strained yoghurt. That means today, there is virtually no region in the world where these products cannot be found.
How to make strained yoghurt (also called Greek yoghurt, skyr, labneh, labaneh)
You begin by heating skim milk and then maintain the temperature as you would when making regular yoghurt. After cooling the milk to fermentation temperature, yoghurt culture is added and the milk is left to ferment until the desired pH is reached. The formed curd is then agitated to achieve a homogenous structure and even distribution between the liquid and protein phase. This homogenous curd is then transferred at fermentation temperature to the fresh cheese separator in order to remove whey from the yoghurt curd.
Downstream from the separator, an immediate first cooling with a heat exchanger is required to stop further acidification and to maintain a good yoghurt structure. Before final packaging and cooling, cream, fruit or other ingredients can be added in-line to the yoghurt.
The role of a GEA Separator in making strained yoghurt
The role of a GEA Separator in producing strained or Greek yoghurt, labneh or skyr on an industrial scale.