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Frozen yogurt is a frozen dessert made with milk, yogurt and other dairy products.
It is considered, a good and healthy alternative to the real Italian gelato, but can also be complementary, if you want to open a gelato shop serving other products. In addition, the investment in machines and equipments required to open a yogurteria, is lower than a gelato shop and for these reason this business is having today a great success at international level.
Frozen yogurt is different from ice milk and conventional soft ice cream as well as being usually lower in fat and often fat free. Frozen yogurt , made with fresh yogurt and dairy products, contains live and active bacteria cultures and, also for this reason, is considered a healthy product.
Frozen yogurt was introduced in the 1970s but the first stores opened in the US in 1981. Unlike previous pre-packaged versions introduced earlier, yogurt was now soft-serve dispensed at the point of sale through a machine. Frozen yogurt took off in the 1980s, reaching sales of $25 million in the US. Demand for frozen yogurt slowed considerably in the late 1990s as Americans turned their attention to high-protein, high-fat diets. Low-fat foods such as frozen yogurt fell out of favor as food trends favored higher fat and lower cost ice cream at the turn of the millennium.
Trends changed back to frozen yogurt in the mid 2000s with the advent of live probiotic powder-based mixes. Dry base mix made frozen yogurt accessible in many countries along with the opening of numerous other self-serve yogurt stores all over the western United States led to a resurgence of interest and demand for frozen yogurt all over the world, from South America to the Far East. Between 2003 and 2009, the frozen yogurt industry grew by 16 percent, according to research done by Market-Research.com, a market research firm, and reported by MSNBC.
Frozen yogurt usually consists of milk solids, some kind of sweetener, milk fat, yogurt culture (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus are common cultures), natural or artificial flavorings, and sometimes natural or artificial coloring.
Milk fat comprises about 0.55-6% of the yogurt. Added in quantities inversely proportional to the amount of milk solids, the milk fat lends richness to the yogurt. Milk solids account for 8-14% of the yogurt's volume, providing lactose for sweetness and proteins for smoothness and increased resistance to melting. Cane or beet sugar provides 15-17% of the yogurt's ingredients. In addition to adding sweetness, the sugar increases the volume of solid ingredients in the yogurt, improving body and texture. There are several versions of non added sugar frozen yogurts, often sweetened with natural sweeteners like stevia. Natural vegetable additives (mostly guar gum) stabilize the yogurt, reducing crystallization and increasing the temperature at which the frozen yogurt will melt. This stabilization ensures that the frozen yogurt maintains a smooth consistency regardless of handling or temperature change.
Frozen yogurt can be made in a soft serve freezer in much the same way as soft ice cream; frozen yogurt mix is sold in powder form, sometime already flavoured, that needs to be mixed with milk, water and yogurt in or liquid form ready to pour into a soft serve machine hopper. A mix with high fat or low fat content can be chosen, and the amount of air introduced into the soft serve machine is variable. The higher the level of fat, the more air the yogurt can absorb; and the more air that is introduced into the mix as it freezes, the creamier the product will taste.
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