Legends of Yogurt

Yogurt is probably the oldest healthy food through out the human history. records of manufacturing and consuming yogurt can be found in varies parts of the world,  from the Veda (the world’s oldest existing literature) to the Bilble. It is hard to tell exactly where and when people first learned about harnessing the probiotics to make the delicious yogurt, but the history of yogurt never lacks legend.

Ayurveda is an ancient practice of traditional medicine native to India and a form of alternative medicine. Practitioners of Ayurveda believe all kinds of illness are caused by the imbalance of elements. In Ayurveda, food has different attribution, such as cold, hot, heavy, light, dry and wet. Since different food has different effect, food can be used to balance human body and cure illness. There are some evidences revealing that ancient Indians explored the cultured diary product in Ayurveda back to as far as 2000 B.C. That probably is the first record of yogurt in human history. In Ayurvedic diet, yogurt is cold and wet, it helps with indigestion, constipation and insomnia.

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The more generally accepted theory is yogurt originated from the ancient Turkish nomad. Travelers carried water and milk with goatskin bags on camel backs. During the hot summer, because of the bacteria inside of the skin bag and the agitation along the road, milk turned into yogurt. Later, when people found out the “curd milk” was more digestible and flavorous, they started to make yogurt purposely.

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Believe it or not, yogurt was mentioned in the Bible as a kind of super food for healing. It also appeared many times in the Bible. In Genesis, Abraham treated his guest with yogurt; and in Judges 5:25, when Jesus asked for water, a woman gave him yogurt. (“Water he asked, milk she gave him; in a lordly bowl she brought him curd.”) So we can say, yogurt is the food for the God!

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Time to enjoy the God approved food!

References:

30 ancient Biblical foods also have been studied as super foods for healing

Origin of Yogurt

Dietribes: Yogurt Made Me Cultured

Yogurt & Its Place In The Persian Ayurvedic Diet

Dairy Foods in Ayurveda

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How Yogurt Becomes Thick?

Every time when I’m craving yogurt, the first illusion my brain produces is the richness of each bite, the concrete yet smooth texture. I believe I’m not the only one who enjoy the thickness of yogurt more than anything. As a matter of fact, when we want some yogurt, we always say “eat” instead of “drink”. I wonder what turns a gallon of liquid milk to cups of “eatable” yogurt?

At the end of my last post How Milk Becomes Yogurt, caseins all come together and become curd. Now, let’s dive into this specific wonderful process.

Milk consists of protein, fat and lactose. Lactose can blend well with water; fat exists as small particles surrounded by protein molecules. Apart from that, there are also many proteins swimming in the water all by themselves.

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Every protein carries more or less some hydrophobic grouping, they hate water molecules more than anything and always try to get together. but they never succeed, because protein molecules also carry —-

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Electrons! That’s right, Electrons have two different types of electric charge: positive charge and negative charge. Because two alike electric charges repel each other, hydrophobic grouping can never bring proteins together. Thus, milk remains liquid.

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However, when lactic acid lowers the PH value of the milk, electrons lose their electric charges. Hydrophobic groupings finally can get together and combine to a huge “net” with proteins, fat, sugar, water all gathering inside.

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And so yogurt becomes thick!

How Milk Becomes Yogurt

This is the first post of the blog, I’m going to touch base with you to talk about how milk becomes yogurt.

First, what is yogurt? FDA says:

Yogurt is the food produced by culturing one or more of the optional dairy ingredients with a characterizing bacterial culture that contains the lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Lactobacillus bulgaricusand and Streptococcus thermophilus are not yummy, but they are probiotics that get along with human body and help our organs to do a better job. Some probiotics live in stomach, they decompose glucose and lactose, make it more digestible for human body, they are called lactic acid bacteria. The major group of lactic acid bacteria is lactobacillus. Some Lactobacillus can be used to produce ferment food, they are the little magicians that transform milk to yogurt.

Step1: lactase breaks the complex structure of the lactose into pairs of molecules.

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Step 2: lactobacillus convert sugar and produce lactic acid

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Step 3: lactic Acid dissolves the shell of casein.

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Step 4: casein agglomerates and precipitates into curd.

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And so milk becomes yogurt!