Yak Yogurt Production


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Yak milk is in abundant supply for the herding communities of Central and Western Mongolia. While there is limited caloric diversity in many communities, multiple products are derived from milk for their flavor, texture and digestive properties. One of the most prevalent foods is yogurt. Yogurt production in Mongolia does not involve the industrial denaturing of bacteria common in industrial cow milk yogurt production. Why this step is avoided was not discussed, but could be an area for future inquiry. While commercial yogurt production includes a controlled culture of bacteria for fermentation, the local production involved use of cultures from previous batches.

We observed that, during the preparation and storage process (which has no need for refrigeration) there appeared to be little to no spoilage. It is noteworthy to realize that the production involves relatively deep barrels and vats which limits the exposure the yogurt medium has to airborne contamination. Additionally, the climatological conditions in which this yogurt is prepared – relatively arid – may be associated with little or limited bacterial lode.