Visit to Yogurt Central: The Danone Plant

September 13, 2011 · 1 comment

in Food Media

It’s not easy going to restaurants a couple times every week and eating healthy. So, every morning I have big bowl of yogurt, usually with fruit and granola. Yogurt has become a part of my daily diet and routine, and is a great breakfast that keeps me going until lunch. A few weeks ago, I was invited along with a small group of other bloggers to visit the Danone Yogurt plant in Boucherville, Quebec. With all the options in the yogurt section, I usually choose something with 0% fat, never plain, usually vanilla, and sometimes with fruit in it. As far as brands go, I don’t really have a preference, but I do enjoy the Danone’s Activia line, Yoplait’s Source, and La Liberté’s vanilla yogurt. I never thought about how and where my yogurt is made, or what the process is. Nevertheless, I was intrigued.

When we arrived at the Danone plant, we watched a safety and security video, then got dressed in our scrubs and lab coats for the official tour. It was very cool to see how it’s made form the cultures, how it’s introduced to the dairy product, then into yogurt. I asked our guide how the fruit gets in there since they stated they mostly work with fresh fruit. The answer makes complete sense: they turn it into a jam, which helps preserve the fruit for a long time. Pretty smart! Also, I was lucky enough to taste two flavors right off the line before they were refrigerated: blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb. That was some delicious fresh yogurt.

After the informative and very cool tour, we were privileged to try three new flavors, where only one of which will be chosen to be on the shelf. It’s part of their Activia Dessert line, and anyone can vote what they think will be the next flavor. The dessert flavors are meant to be enjoyed as a small indulgence with a creamier texture. The samples we had were hand-made versions of the three new flavors: angel food cake, caramelized pear, and caramel apple pie. The angel food cake flavor was very similar to vanilla, but I would definitely be able to see it dolloped on to a piece of cake. The caramelized pear yogurt is the one I believe will be chosen since the sweet, burnt sugar flavor complements the pear flavor very well. The apple pie one was mine and almost everyone’s favorite flavor. It’s as close to apple pie as you’re going to get in a yogurt. You could taste the cinnamon, and buttery, flaky crust even though it’s not there.

You can decide which one you think will win from this link: http://vote.activia.ca/en. Oh, and while you’re at it, check out the video featuring some of the other bloggers and myself. Voting ends on September 21st, 2011.

It was a great experience checking out the Danone plant. I love how all the workers are so passionate about the products they make and how much care is taken to make it. I now know how much work is put into my breakfast. Here’s a few pics from the event.

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe Larose September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm

If you are a yogurt lover like I am I recommend you try Beurrerie du Patrimoine yogurt (
http://www.fermegroleau.com/accueil.php). You can find it at most “health/organic” stores, see their website for where it’s sold. The Danones and Yoplaits aren’t real yogurts, they are filled with unnecessary ingredients. (see ingredient list below for Danone Activia).

Skim milk, cream, concentrated skim milk, sugar, milk and whey protein concentrate, fructose, corn starch, gelatin, active bacterial cultures

Milk (real milk not powder) and bacteria is all that should be on the list.

Liberte is not bad although their regular line uses some milk powder but at least no fructose or corn syrups, their organic line is very good but I have noticed that they now use powder as well when they only used to use real milk.

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