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Strained yogurt


Strained yogurt

Strained yogurt
Strained yogurt with olive oil
Alternative names chak(k)a, Greek yogurt, labneh, suzma, yogurt cheese
Type Yogurt
Place of origin Middle East or Central Asia
Region or state West, South, and Central Asia; Southeastern Europe
Main ingredients Yogurt
Food energy
(per serving)
457 kJ (109 kcal) per 100 g[1] kcal
Cookbook:Strained yogurt 

Strained yogurt, yogurt cheese, labneh (Arabic: لبنةlabnah), or Greek yogurt is yogurt which has been strained to remove its whey, resulting in a relatively thick consistency (between that of conventional yogurt and cheese), while preserving yogurt's distinctive, sour taste. Like many types of yogurt, strained yogurt is often made from milk that has been enriched by boiling off some of its water content, and/or by adding extra butterfat and powdered milk.

Yogurt strained through muslin is a traditional food in the Levant, Eastern Mediterranean, Near East, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, where it is often used in cooking (as it is high enough in fat content to avoid curdling at higher temperatures). Such dishes may be cooked or raw, savoury or sweet. Due to the straining process to remove excess whey, even non-fat varieties of strained yogurt are much thicker, richer, and creamier than the conventional/unstrained yogurts.

In western Europe and the US, strained yogurt has seen rapidly expanding popularity due to a much richer texture (and to a lesser extent, much higher protein content) than unstrained yogurt. Since the straining process removes some of the lactose, strained yogurt is also lower in sugar/carbohydrates than unstrained yogurt, which may appeal to those engaged in low-carbohydrate diets.[2] It may be strained in a cloth or paper bag or filter.

Most of the recent growth in the $4.1 billion US yogurt industry has come from the "Greek"/strained yogurt sub-segment.[3][4] "Greek-style" yogurt is similar to Greek strained yogurt, but may be thickened with thickening agents,[5] or if made the traditional way, is made from domestic (rather than Greek) milk.[6]


  • Nutrition 1
  • History 2
  • Variations 3
    • Armenia 3.1
    • Turkey 3.2
    • Greece 3.3
    • Cyprus 3.4
    • Middle East 3.5
    • Central Asia 3.6
    • Indian Subcontinent 3.7
    • North America 3.8
    • United Kingdom 3.9
    • Mexico 3.10
    • Northern Europe 3.11
  • Production issues 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Strained yogurt contains essentially 100% casein protein, as the more immediate nutrient rich whey protein is removed with the whey.[7][8][9][10]



Yogurt being strained through a cheesecloth


In Armenia, strained yogurt is referred to as kamats matzoon. Traditionally, it was produced for long-term preservation by draining matzoon in cloth sacks. Afterwards it was stored in leather sacks or clay pots for a month or more depending on the degree of salting.[11]


In Turkey, strained yogurt is known as süzme yoğurt ("strained yogurt") or kese yoğurdu ("bag yogurt").[12] Water is sometimes added to it. Strained yogurt is used in Turkish mezzes and dips such as haydari.[13]

In Turkish markets, labne is also a popular dairy product but it is different from strained yogurt; it is yogurt-based creamy cheese without salt, and is used like mascarpone.[14]


Strained yogurt ("στραγγιστό γιαούρτι" straggistó giaoúrti in Greek) is used in Greek food mostly as the base for tzatziki dip and as a dessert, with honey, sour cherry syrup, or spoon sweets often served on top. A few savoury Greek dishes use strained yogurt. In Greece, strained yogurt, like yogurt in general, is traditionally made from sheep's milk. More recently, cow's milk is often used, especially in industrial production.[15]


Similarly, strained yogurt is widely used in Cypriot cuisine not only as an ingredient in recipes, but also on its own or as a supplement to a dish. In Cyprus, strained yogurt is usually made from sheep's milk.

Middle East

Labneh (also known as labni, lebni or zabedi) is popular in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula. Besides being used fresh, labneh is also dried then formed into balls, sometimes covered with herbs or spices, and stored in olive oil. Labneh is a popular mezze dish and sandwich ingredient. The flavour depends largely on the sort of milk used: labneh from cow's milk has a rather mild flavour. Also the quality of olive oil topping influences the taste of labneh. Milk from camels and other animals is used in labneh production in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

Bedouin also produce a dry, hard labneh (labaneh malboudeh, similar to Central Asian qurut) that can be stored. Strained labneh is pressed in cheese cloth between two heavy stones and later sun dried. This dry labneh is often eaten with khubz (Arabic bread), in which both khubz and labneh are mixed with water, animal fat, and salt, and rolled into balls.

In Lebanon, labneh is made by straining the liquid out of yogurt until it takes on a consistency similar to a soft cheese. It tastes like tart sour cream or heavy Greek yogurt and is a common breakfast dip.[16] It is usually eaten in a fashion similar to hummus, spread on a plate and drizzled with olive oil and often, dried mint.

Labneh is also the main ingredient in jameed, which is in turn used in mansaf, the national dish of Jordan.

Labneh is commonly consumed by both Jewish and Arab Israelis, often with pita and za'atar, or dried hyssop. It can also be purchased in the form of small white balls immersed in olive oil.[16]

Labneh is a common breakfast food among Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Labaneh bil zayit, "labaneh in oil", consists of small balls of dry labneh kept under oil, where it can be preserved for over a year. As it ages it turns more sour.

Strained yogurt in Iran is called mâst chekide and is usually used for making dips, or served as a side dish. In Northern Iran, mâst chekide is a variety of kefir with a distinct sour taste. It is usually mixed with fresh herbs in a pesto-like purée called delal. Yogurt is a side dish to all Iranian meals. Strained yogurt is used as dips and various appetizers with multitudes of ingredients: cucumbers, onions, shallots, fresh herbs (dill, spearmint, parsley, cilantro), spinach, walnuts, zereshk, garlic, etc. The most popular appetizers are spinach or eggplant borani, ‘’Mâst-o-Khiâr’’ with cucumber, spring onions and herbs, or ‘’Mâst-Musir’’ with wild shallots.

In Egypt, strained and unstrained yogurt is called "zabadi" ("laban" meaning "milk" in Egyptian Arabic). It is eaten with savoury accompaniments such as olives and oil, and also with a sweetener such as honey, as a snack or breakfast food.

Central Asia

In the cuisines of many Iranian and Turkic peoples (e.g. in Azerbaijani, Afghan, Tatar, Tajik, Uzbek, and other Central Asian cuisines), a type of strained yogurt called chak(k)a[17][18] or suzma (Turkmen: süzme, Azerbaijani: süzmə, Kazakh: сүзбe, Kyrgyz: сүзмө, Uzbek: suzma, Uyghur: сүзма‎)[18] is consumed. It is obtained by draining qatiq, a local yogurt variety. By further drying it, one obtains qurut, a kind of dry fresh cheese.[18]

Indian Subcontinent

A disposable clay pot with "dahi"

In the Indian Subcontinent, regular unstrained yogurt (dahi or curd), made from cow or water buffalo milk, it is often sold in disposable clay bowls called kulhar (Hindi-Urdu: कुल्हड़ or کلہڑ / Sinhalese: මී කිරි) . Kept for a couple of hours in its clay pot, some of the water evaporates through the unfired clay's pores. It also cools the curd due to evaporation. But true strained yogurt is made by draining dahi in a cloth.

Shrikhand is an Indian dessert (often eaten with poori) made with strained yogurt and sugar, saffron, cardamom, diced fruit and nuts mixed in. It is particularly popular in the state of Gujarat and Maharashtra, where dairy producers market shrikhand similar to ice cream. In Pashtun-dominated regions of Pakistan a strained yogurt known as chaka is often consumed with rice and meat dishes.

North America

Strained yogurt (often marketed as "Greek yogurt") has become popular in the United States and Canada,[2] where it is often used as a lower-calorie substitute for sour cream or crème fraîche.[19]

"Greek yogurt" brands in North America include

  • Strained yogurt recipes from Greece

External links

  1. ^ Sütlü Besinler Kalori Cetveli. Sütaş Dairy Products (in Turkish)
  2. ^ a b "Is Greek Yogurt Better Than Regular?".  
  3. ^ Greek yogurt on a marathon-like growth spur. Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, 22 January 2012
  4. ^ a b William Neuman. Greek Yogurt a Boon for New York State. New York Times, 12 January 2012
  5. ^ a b Greek Yogurt Wars: The High-Tech Shortcuts vs. The Purists. theKitchn, accessed on 2013-01-24
  6. ^ a b Voskos Greek Yogurt. Sun Valley Dairy, accessed on 2008-03-03
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ С. А. Арутюнов, Т. А. Воронина. Традиционная пища как выражение этнического самосознания, стр. 120—125. Наука, 2001 (S. A. Arutyunov, T. A. Voronina. Traditional Food as an Expression of Ethnic Self-Consciousness, pp. 120-125. Nauka publishers, 2001; in Russian)
  12. ^ Süzme Yoğurt. Food Technology, MEGEP, Turkish Ministry of Education, 2007 (in Turkish)
  13. ^ Elizabeth Taviloglu. Haydari - Meze with Strained Yogurt, Garlic And Herbs. Turkish Food
  14. ^ Pınar Labaneh. Pinar, Yaşar Group
  15. ^ Daphne Zepos. Greek Gastronomy. Kerasma, accessed on 2013-01-24
  16. ^ a b Debra Kamin. Tourist tip #242:Labheh. Haaretz
  17. ^ Meyer, Arthur L.; Jon M. Vann (2003). The Appetizer Atlas: A World of Small Bites. John Wiley. p. 348.  
  18. ^ a b c Похлебкин, Вильям Васильевич (2005). Большая энциклопедия кулинарного искусства (in Russian). Centrpoligraph.  
  19. ^ Barbara Fairchild. Bon Appetit Desserts: The Cookbook for All Things Sweet and Wonderful, p. 8. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2010
  20. ^ Dannon Wants To Help Operators Get Growing With Greek Yogurt. Dannon via PerishableNews, 6 February 2013
  21. ^ Dannon Introduces New Activia Greek. Dannon via Yahoo finance, 29 April 2013
  22. ^ Yoplait Introduces New, 100-Calorie Greek Yogurt. Yoplait via Business Wire, 08 August 2012
  23. ^ Tim Shufelt. Canada goes Greek, "Yogurt wars get serious". Canadian Business, 23 August 2012
  24. ^ a b Jeff Gelski. My big, thick Greek yogurt: protein, straining methods affect texture. FoodBusinessNews, 4 April 2011
  25. ^ Caroline Scott-Thomas. National Starch develops ingredient for no strain Greek yogurt. Foodnavigator-USA, 23 June 2011
  26. ^ Judgment in FAGE UK Ltd v. Chobani UK Ltd
  27. ^ Court of Appeal decision - FAGE UK Ltd v. Chobani UK Ltd
  28. ^ Ben Bouckley. Dairy reporter "Chobani gets Fage fright, loses Greek Yogurt appeal". DairyReporter, 28 January 2014
  29. ^ Abraham Villegas de Gante. El Jocoque: Un Lácteo Fermentado Revalorizable
  30. ^ "Syrnede produkter" (in Danish). Arla Foods Corporation. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side".  


See also

The liquid resulting from straining yogurt is called "acid whey" and is composed of water, yogurt cultures, protein, a slight amount of lactose, and lactic acid. It is difficult to dispose of.[31][32][33] Farmers have used the whey to mix with animal feed and fertilizer. Using anaerobic digesters, it can be a source of methane that can be used to produce electricity.[34]

Production issues

In the Netherlands, strained yoghurt is known as hangop, literally meaning 'hang up'. It is a traditional dessert. Hangop may also be made using buttermilk.

In Denmark, a type of strained yogurt named ymer is available. In contrast to the Greek and Turkish variety, only a minor amount of whey is drained off in the production process.[30] Ymer is traditionally consumed with the addition of ymerdrys (lit. Danish: ymer sprinkle), a mixture of bread crumbs made from rye bread (rugbrød) and brown sugar. Like other types of soured dairy products, ymer is often consumed at breakfast. Strained yogurt topped with muesli and maple syrup is often served at brunch in cafés in Denmark.

Strained yogurt, in full-, low-, and no-fat versions, has become popular in northern European cookery as a low-calorie alternative to cream in recipes. It is typically marketed as "Greek" or "Turkish" yogurt.

Northern Europe

Strained yogurt is called jocoque seco in Mexico. It was popularised by local producers of Lebanese origin and is widely popular in the country. The name jocoque is Nahuatl, and is used for an indigenous cultured milk product similar to sour cream but with less fat content and still with beneficial bacteria.[29]


In September 2012, Chobani UK Ltd. began to sell yogurt made in the United States as "Greek Yogurt". FAGE filed a passing-off claim against Chobani in the UK High Court, claiming that UK consumers understood "Greek" to refer to the country of origin (similar to "Belgian Beer"); Chobani's position was that consumers understood "Greek" to refer to a preparation (similar to "French Toast"). Both companies relied on surveys to prove their point. In the end, Mr Justice Briggs found in favor of FAGE and granted an injunction preventing Chobani from using the name "Greek Yogurt".[26] In February 2014, a Court of Appeals upheld this decision.[27][28] Chobani has not yet reentered the UK market.

In the United Kingdom, strained yogurt is commonly referred to as "Greek" if made in Greece and "Greek Style" or "Greek Recipe" if made elsewhere. Among "Greek Style" yogurts, there is no distinction between those thickened by straining and those thickened through additives. "Greek Style" yogurt is generally cheaper than "Greek" yogurt.

United Kingdom

[24] to standard yogurt to boost the protein content and modify the texture.[25] Alternatively, after culturing, the yogurt may be centrifuged or membrane-filtered to remove [24] The characteristic thick texture and high protein content are achieved through either or both of two processing steps. The milk may be concentrated by ultrafiltration to remove a portion of the water before addition of yogurt cultures.

[23] Activia Greek yogurt was re-introduced in 2013, and in July 2012 took over US distribution and sales of Canadian Liberté’s Greek brands. In Canada, Yoplait was launched in January 2013, and is packaged with toppings.[22] introduced a Greek-style yogurt under the Yoplait brand name in early 2010 which was discontinued and replaced by Yoplait Greek 100 in August 2012.General Mills [21] and Activia Greek yogurt was re-introduced in 2013.[20] Dannon Light & Fit Greek nonfat yogurt was introduced in 2012 and boasts being the lightest Greek yogurt with fruit,[5]

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