The new cultures – YoFlex SoGreek and nu-trish SoGreek – combine Chr Hansen’s “modern high performing yogurt cultures” with an “authentic Greek culture” from a strain obtained by the Agricultural University of Athens.
Commenting, Chr Hansen marketing manager, Morten Boesen, branded the SoGreek cultures the “best of both worlds.”
“The university set out to find and understand the cultures used in authentic Greek/Mediterranean artisanal dairy products,” said Boesen.
“They visited small producers and families around the Aegean Sea to sample their homemade recipes from when food was made pure and simple. This work has led to the discovery of the culture used in SoGreek, which was isolated from an artisanal Greek yogurt from the island of Crete 20 years ago,” he added.
“Authentic Greek culture”
The YoFlex SoGreek and nu-trish SoGreek cultures come in two versions - one developed for use with separation technology, the other for milk powder fortification.
According to the Denmark-based natural ingredients manufacturer, it was driven to develop the SoGreek cultures in response to growing consumer demand for dairy products “with natural ingredients and perceived inherent goodness” such as Greek yogurt.
The global market for yogurt has “undergone a major transformation” in recent years on the back of the unprecedented demand for Greek yogurt, according to Chr Hansen.
In the US, Greek now accounts for more than 40% of dollar sales in the yogurt category - compared with around 1% in 2007 - and in the UK, demand for the high-protein snack is steadily increasing.
“To our knowledge we are the first to globally launch an authentic Greek culture for Greek yogurt, which is a segment that has far from peaked. We are inviting customers to unfold the value of dairy with SoGreek!” said Boesen.