Who eats Yopudding “yogurt”?

  1. yoplaitPudding: made by cooking a mix of milk and sugar with cornstarch to thicken
  2. Yogurt: made by adding bacteria cultures, such as lactobacillus, to milk, to ferment and thicken
  3. Yopudding: a vaguely yogurt-like cultured milk product, labeled as “yogurt”, but thickened with cornstarch and gelatin.

I’d put Yoplait firmly in the 3rd category.  I haven’t purchased it in years, but found some in a hotel breakfast buffet recently.  “Oh good, yogurt” — that’s what I thought.  Then I tasted it.  The off-putting cornstarchy texture stuck out by a mile.  After one spoonful, I’d had more than enough.

But apparently plenty of consumers think this type of yo-pudding concoction is what yogurt should be.  Yoplait, Danon and other similarly cornstarched products take up lots of space in the grocery store.  Generic yogurts are also likely to be made this way.

Why use cornstarch?  It makes the product more stable, which probably appeals to lots of people.  With real yogurt, water tends to separate out.  That’s not a big deal, just mix it back in or pour it off.  But squeamish consumers who want their food to look sanitized and uniform might be put off.  So now we’ve got yopudding.  It’s one more sign of the dumbing down of our taste buds.

Nutritional problems with this?

The cornstarch itself isn’t much of an issue.  The protein, calcium and other nutrients from the milk are still there.  I object to the food fakery that ruins the taste and texture.  Yopuddings tend to be highly sweetened, and frequently also have artificial colorings, flavorings and preservatives.  They taste more like ice cream, instead of the tangy flavor of real yogurt.

Bottom line

I personally will not ever buy a yogurt that’s thickened with corn starch.  They aren’t a nutritional problem so much as an insult to taste.

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