The growth and popularity of yogurt is largely due to fruit and sugar. For fruit-containing yogurt, the primary component of yogurt taste is the perceived degree of sweetness. This attribute of yogurt is believed to be responsible for its spectacular growth (49). In an earlier study, 79% of consumers preferred flavored yogurts (50). The surveys done in the United Kingdom indicated that 90% of yogurt sales were of fruit and flavored varieties
Many fruit flavors, single or blended, are popular and these may vary with the season. Fruit preparations are added to make up 10 to 20% of the final product. A fruit preserve consists of 55% sugar and 45% fruit (16). These are cooked until the final solids reach 65-68%. The pH of these preparations is adjusted to 3.0-3.5 with citric acid or other food-grade acid. The processed fruit in most cases is filled aseptically in totes and shipped to yogurt plants. Transfer of fruit to yogurt should be done through sterile equipment to avoid yeast and mold contamination. The blending and the filler areas are very crucial to the microbiological quality of the yogurt with respect to yeast and mold. These areas should have HEPA-filtered air to keep out airborne yeast, mold, and other contaminants. Cardboard boxes should not be brought in these areas. Also, high-pressure water hoses should be avoided while fruit blending and packaging is going on.
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