Frequently asked questions on fermented milk
1. Should the milk be pasteurized (boiled) before fermentation
Pasteurisation or boiling of the milk kills foreign or pathogenic bacteria.
Boiling of milk for spontaneous fermentation may slow down the fermentation process due to reduced number of bacteria and might also affect the flavour. However, it is a good and a highly recommended practice and should be observed before fermentation to make milk safe.
2. Can fermented milk make you sick?
Fermented milk if contaminated can make you sick. Additionally, pathogenic bacteria can grow in the milk during fermentation process posing a health risk.
To minimise such risk, it is important to ensure that the milk is obtained and fermented under the highest hygienic conditions possible.
3. Is milk coagulated by addition of lemon juice nutritious?
This is a short-cut to the fermentation process. Also addition of any other acid will coagulate the milk.
The added lemon juice is acidic which increases the acidity of the milk, lowering the pH and causing the milk to coagulate.
Acid coagulated milk does not offer the same health benefits as those derived from live bacteria found in spontaneously or controlled fermented milk.
4. How does traditionally fermented milk compare to yoghurt?
Yoghurt is manufactured under a controlled fermentation process by inoculating with specific bacteria which are tailored to deliver specific properties such as flavour, texture and consistency. While traditionally fermented milk undergoes uncontrolled fermentation.
5. Are there commercial products that can deliver the same or superior benefits than traditionally fermented milk?
Yes. There is a class of foods called ‘probiotics’. Probiotic foods are developed by inoculating them with high concentrations of probiotic bacteria. These products deliver high quality and specific health benefits to the consumer. The most common commercial probiotic foods are probiotic yoghurt.
6. What are the health benefits of commercial probiotic yoghurts?
Commercial probiotic yoghurts offer many health benefits which include: improvement of the immune system, fight cancer, lower cholesterol, promote or help in recovery from diarrhoea, alleviate symptoms of lactose intolerance, increase nutrient bioavailability and reduce blood pressure in hypertensive.
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