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Frozen yogurt (also spelled frozen yoghurt; also known as frogurt or by the tradename Froyo) is a frozen dessert made with yogurt and sometimes other dairy products. It varies from slightly to much more tart than ice cream, as well as being lower in fat (due to the use of milk instead of cream). It is different from ice milk (more recently termed low-fat or light ice cream) and conventional soft serve. Unlike yogurt, frozen yogurt is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but is regulated by some U.S. states. Frozen yogurt may or may not contain live and active bacteria cultures.
People have been eating plain yogurt for over four millennia, particularly in the Middle East and India. Yogurt was brought to the U.S. in the early 1900s and steadily increased in popularity as a health food item over the next several decades. In the 1930s Dannon began selling prepackaged yogurt for the first time in the U.S. By the 1970s, with the popularity of ice cream surging, freezing and production technology was transferred to the production of frozen yogurt. Many consumers, however, complained about the yogurt taste.
Capitalizing on consumer demand for a sweet product that tasted like ice cream but was healthier, TCBY opened its first store in 1981. Unlike previous pre-packaged versions introduced earlier, TCBY's yogurt was soft-serve dispensed at the point of sale through a machine. TCBY became the largest frozen yogurt franchise in the world at that time. As others saw the success of TCBY, frozen yogurt took off in the 1980s, reaching sales of $25 million in 1986. Brands such as Colombo, Nanci's, and Miss Karen's came to prominence around that time in the United States and frozen yogurt was 10% of the frozen dessert market accounting for over $300 million in sales by the mid 1990s. 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 favour as food trends favoured 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 invented by John Wudel, pioneer of alternative sweeteners in the frozen dessert industry. Dry base mix made frozen yogurt accessible in many countries outside the United States for the first time. In 2005, a small retail shop in California named Pinkberry introduced a new extra tart variety of soft-serve frozen yogurt to the market. This new euro tart flavour 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. Consumer demand for tart frozen yogurt reached unprecedented levels by 2013 all over the United States and many other countries marking a stark contrast to tart frozen yogurt's initial reception in the 1970s.
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 flavourings, and sometimes natural or artificial colouring.
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. Animal gelatin and/or vegetable additives (guar gum, carrageenan, etc.) stabilize the yogurt, reducing crystallization and increasing the temperature at which the yogurt will melt. This stabilization ensures that the frozen yogurt maintains a smooth consistency regardless of handling or temperature change.
Major companies often use assembly lines specifically dedicated to frozen yogurt production. The milk products and stabilizing agent(s) are combined and homogenized. At 32 °C, the yogurt culture is added. The mix remains at this temperature until it sets and is ready for cooling. After that, the mix is cooled at a temperature of 0 to 4 °C. Once it has reached the desired temperature and viscosity, the yogurt is allowed to sit in aging tanks for up to four hours. Sweeteners, flavourings, and colourings are then mixed in, and the yogurt mixture is cooled at a temperature of −6 to −2 °C. To create extra volume and smooth consistency, air is incorporated into the yogurt as the mixture is agitated. When a sufficient amount of air has been incorporated into the product, the yogurt is rapidly frozen to prevent the formation of large ice crystals, and stored in a cold place to be shipped.
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 that needs to be mixed with water or liquid form ready to pour into a soft serve machine. A mix with high fat or low fat content can be chosen, and the amount of air introduced into the soft serve frozen yogurt 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.
Frozen yogurt has come to be used much like ice cream, and is served in a wide variety of flavours and styles. Many companies allow customers the option of adding various toppings, or of ordering their frozen yogurt in cups or in cones. Certain sellers offer sugar-free varieties. Frozen yogurt made by some chains is tarter and closer to the original recipe, whereas other firms focus on making their frozen yogurt taste like ice cream.
OTHER USES OF TERM
In May 2010, Google released their operating system, Android 2.2, codenamed Froyo. Each major release of Android is named in alphabetical order after a dessert or sugary treat.
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