Yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, sour cream - sour milk products are part of many people's daily diet. And rightly so: Buttermilk and Co. not only taste really good, they are also healthy. Not only the protein and the vitamins contribute to this, but also the lactic acid bacteria, which are responsible for the sour taste. These lactic acid bacteria support the intestinal flora as probiotics.
Production of sour milk products
In the supermarket you can almost get lost between the shelves, so many dairy products are offered. But what is behind the great diversity? Most sour milk products are initially produced in a similar process mainly from cow's milk, but also from goat, sheep or soy milk.
In order to obtain yoghurt, certain lactic acid bacteria are added to the milk, which utilize part of the milk. The milk sugar (lactose) present in the milk is in lactic acid transformed. In this process, the milk curdles, which gives the yoghurt its fresh, sour taste and also makes it so wholesome.
Incidentally, the word "yoghurt" comes from the Turkish "yoghurmak" which means "thickening".
Right and left turning lactic acid
The lactic acid is usually present as a mixture of two forms, designated as right- or left-handed. Clockwise L (+) - lactic acid also occurs in human metabolism and is therefore easily digestible. It helps with energy production in the metabolism and protects the intestinal mucosa.
On the other hand, levorotatory D (-) - lactic acid is degraded more slowly - and is therefore not recommended for infants under twelve months and people with intestinal diseases. On products containing only the more digestible dextrorotatory form, this is stated on the package.
How do you make buttermilk, kefir & Co.?
In addition to yoghurt, there are other sour milk products, some of which are produced in a similar way:
- For the production of sour cream, sour cream and creme fraiche The same procedure is used as for yoghurt, but on the basis of cream. Depending on the fat content of the product should be removed from the cream different amounts of water. So sour cream comes to at least 10, sour cream to at least 20 and creme fraiche to at least 30 percent fat.
- buttermilk Like kefir, it differs from other acidic dairy products in its production. Buttermilk is actually a waste product left over from making sour cream butter. It contains similar nutrients as milk, but is significantly lower in fat.
- For the preparation of kefir So-called kefir rolls - a mixture of yeasts and bacteria - are added to the milk. In addition to lactic acid, they also form small amounts of alcohol and carbon dioxide. That's why Kefir bubbles up a little. The product is easy to digest, contains many B vitamins and has a positive effect on intestinal activity. Because of these characteristics, kefir is also referred to as the "drink of the centenarians".
- whey is a liquid that separates during the production of quark and cheese. Sweet whey is produced by thickening the milk with rennet (a calf stomach enzyme), especially in cheese production, and sour whey in the coagulation processes caused by lactic acid bacteria (especially in quark production). Whey is very low in fat and low in calories and contains high-quality protein, especially B vitamins and minerals such as potassium and calcium.
Ingredients of sour milk products
Whether buttermilk, yogurt or kefir: Products made from leavened milk contain important ingredients that are good for our body. Sour milk products provide:
- high quality protein
- different vitamins
This ensures healthy bones as well as the functioning of muscles, nerves and thyroid.
The positive effect of lactic acid bacteria
The special bacteria contribute to our well-being: Lactic acid bacteria are among the bioactive substances that strengthen our defenses. Studies have shown that added probiotic bacteria that reach the intestine alive and provide a healthy flora there, even more intense and targeted.
In addition, natural yoghurts without added sugar, thickening agents or fruit preparations are of particularly high quality. Unlike fruit yoghurts, they are generally not heat treated (pasteurized). As a result, they still contain living lactic acid bacteria, which can develop their positive effects.
By the way: Since the milk sugar in lactic acid products is largely converted into lactic acid by lactic acid bacteria, they are also tolerated well by people with lactose intolerance (lactose intolerance) - at least in smaller quantities.