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Analiza wartości odżywczej – w szczególności zawartości węglowodanów w kefirach oraz jogurtach naturalnych i smakowych na polskim rynku konsumenta

Irena Mańkiewicz-Żurawska
1
,
Wanda Lutogniewska
1
,
Eliza Skała-Zamorowska
2
,
Przemysława Jarosz-Chobot
2

1.
Department of Children’s Diabetology and Paediatrics, Upper Silesian Children’s Health Centre, Katowice, Poland
2.
Department of Children’s Diabetology, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metab 2023; 29 (3): 166-174
Data publikacji online: 2023/10/23
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Introduction

According to the World Health Organisation’s definition, fermented milk products are a group of products made out of milk (full milk, semi or fully skimmed, powdered milk), which have been fermented by particular microorganisms. In a balanced diet dairy fermented produce, such as soured milk, kefir, and the new generation of milk products are recommended [1]. This group is a source of probiotics, and many vitamins and minerals necessary for normal body function [2]. The products included in this group have prophylactic properties in the therapy of many diet-related diseases. They have a beneficial influence on microbiota by supressing growth of pathogenic and putrid bacteria [3]. Fermented dairy produce increase fat, protein, and vitamin absorption. Moreover, they are safer for those afflicted by allergies in comparison with milk because they evoke less pronounced allergic reaction [4].

The most frequently fermented products chosen by the clients were kefirs and yoghurts [5]. They contain live bacteria cultures. The natural ones have different contents in comparison to the flavoured products. The flavoured fermented products are chosen for their sensory values. The producers offer various and more sophisticated flavours. Adding them enhances their taste and affects the quality and energy value of the products [6]. According to the Polish National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene, the nutritional information label shows the amounts of nutrients: energy, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and salt, which are contained in the product. Placing the information about nutrition value on food consistent with European Parliament and Council directive no. 1924/2006 enables customers to make an informed choice about the product [7].

According to WHO data, since the 1970s there has been a threefold increase in the obesity rate worldwide [8]. It is believed that the main causes are a decrease in physical activity and increased consumption of simple carbohydrates. It is the result of using saccharose and other additional sweeteners in the production of popular food products [9]. With this in mind, the nutritional value and carbohydrate content in particular are among the overriding indicators of good quality of a dairy product [10].

The aim of the study was to assess the nutrition value – carbohydrates in particular – of natural and flavoured kefirs and yoghurts available in Poland.

Material and methods

The study included over 100 randomly chosen, widely available kefirs and yoghurts between May and June 2020. Particular products were selected from chain supermarkets: Biedronka, Tesco, and Lidl. The products were divided into 4 groups: 1) natural kefirs (25 products), 2) flavoured kefirs (25 products), 3) natural yoghurts (25 products), and 4) flavoured yoghurts (25 products). Based on the information on the label, their nutrition was evaluated, with particular focus on carbohydrate content and energy value. Next, the mean nutrition for each group was calculated, and all the groups were compared. While selecting the products for the study, the main criterion was variety of dairy products manufacturers.

The obtained results were analysed with Student’s t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Tukey’s range tests. P < 0.05 was determined as statistically significant.

Results

In the group of natural kefirs the mean energy value in 100 g was 46.10 ±5.98 kcal (32.50–51.00 kcal). The mean carbohydrate content for 100 g of the natural kefir was 4.67 ±0.66 g (3.40–6.70 g). The mean fat content in 100 g of natural kefir was 1.64 ±0.64 g (0.00–3.00 g), and protein 3.14 ±0.68 g (0.50–4.00 g) in 100 g of the product. The nutrition of selected natural kefirs is presented in Table I.

Table I

The nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in natural kefir – information on the food labels from the lowest to the highest carbohydrate content

No.BrandName of the kefirThe nutrition value in a 100 g
Energy (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fats (g)Proteins (g)
1AyranKefir36.003.401.502.20
2BakomaKefir 0.5%32.504.003.000.50
3DanoneKefir 1.5%49.004.001.502.90
4PolanaKefir 2%45004.002.002.70
5MildKefir bio mild 1.5%44.004.101.003.40
6RobicoKefir43.004.201.503.10
7PiątnicaKefir 2%52.004.202.004.00
8OZOKefir43.004.501.503.20
9TolaKefir dense 1.5%44.004.501.503.20
10Mleczna dolinaKefir 1.5%44.004.501.503.20
11PszczynaKefir natural 1.5%46.004.601.503.40
12ActiviaKefir57.004.703,002.80
13PilosKefir46.004.701.503.30
14PilosKefir velvety 2%50.004.702.003.20
15PilosKefir natural 2%50.004.702.003.20
16ŁowiczKefir 1.5%46.004.701.503.30
17OpoleKefir traditional 1.5%45.004.701.503.10
18PiątnicaKefir 0%35.004.800.003.00
19TolaKefir 2%51.004.802.003.40
20MlekpolKefir51.005.001.803.60
21Just fiKefir just fit37.005.000,103.90
22PilosKefir creamy 2%50.005.002.004.00
23BieluchKefir tola 2%51.005.002.003.30
24RadomskoKefir ale 1.5%54.006.201.503.80
25AuchanKefir 1.5%51.006.701.502.70
MEAN46.104.671.643.14

In the group of flavoured kefirs the mean energy value for 100 g of the product was 74.84 ±28.50 kcal (36.00–144.00 kcal). The mean carbohydrate content for 100 g of the flavoured kefir was 11.31 ±3.74 g (3.40–22.00 g). The mean fat content in 100 g was 2.04 ±2.24 g (0.05–7.50 g), and protein was 3.36 ±1.43 g (1.30–8.00 g). Table II presents the nutritional value of selected flavoured kefirs.

Table II

Nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in the flavoured kefirs – information on the food labels from the lowest to the highest carbohydrate content

No.BrandName of the kefirThe nutrition value in a 100 g
Energy (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fats (g)Proteins (g)
1MalutaAvran36.003.402.201.50
2SomlekKefir with cucumber and dill49.005.001.803.20
3Mleczna dolinaKefir with cucumber and garlic53.005.601.903.30
4PaturagesKefir with forest fruits50.009.000.053.30
5JoviKefir with cranberries50.009.000.053.30
6SunmilkKefir light forest fruits51.009.000.103.40
7OSM RawiczKefir strawberry66.0010.001.503.20
8PiątnicaDessert kefir with plum jam108.0010.505.903.00
9KauflandKefir with vanilla flavour66.0010.501.303.00
10JanKefir refreshing with strawberry66.0010.501.303.00
11Piotr i PawełKefir strawberry66.0010.501.303.00
12JoviKefir with appetizing strawberry67.0010.702.801.30
13TolaKefir prune67.0010.701.303.00
14PiątnicaKefir with cherry and apple jam108.0010.705.303.00
15PilosKefir just fit59.0011.000.103.40
16OSM GrodziskKefir 0% with vanilla60.0012.000.056.00
17HeliosKefir strawberry – honey62.0012.100.006.60
18CarrefourFlavoured jumbo65.0012.900.103.40
19JanKefir with chocolate76.0012.901.502.60
20FigANDKefir forest fruits67.0013.100.053.40
21IsoldaKefir strawberry81.0014.002.003.00
22Jagr 200Kefir apricot82.0014.801.502.40
23MilbonaKefir mild berry142.0016.307.402.40
24LanfeinKefir Sahne144.0016.607.502.30
25BiedronkaKefir with forest fruits130.0022.000.008.00
MEAN74.8411.322.043.36

The comparison of mean nutrition between both groups of kefirs is presented in Table III.

Table III

The comparison of mean nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) between the 2 studied groups of kefirs– natural vs. flavoured

Nutritional valueMean ±SDp-value for Student’s t-test
Natural kefirsFlavoured kefirs
Energy value in 100 g (kcal)46.1 ±6.10374.84 ±29.09< 0.001
Carbohydrate contents in 100 g of the product (g)4.67 ±0.6711.31 ±3.83< 0.001
Fats contents in 100 g of the product (g)1.64 ±0.661.88 ±2.260.608
Proteins contents in 100 g of the product (g)3.14 ±0.693.36 ±1.460.504

The energy value and the carbohydrate content was significantly lower in the natural kefirs than in the flavoured ones. There was no statistically significant difference determined in fat or protein content between natural and flavoured kefirs.

In natural yoghurts the mean energy value for 100 g of the produce was 71.60 ±25 kcal (38.00–125.00 kcal). On the other hand, in the group of natural yoghurts, the mean carbohydrate content for 100 g of the product was 5.45 ±0.85 g (4.10–7.60 g), the average fat content in 100 g of the product was 4.00 ±3.04 g (1.00–10.00 g), and protein was 4.42 ±1.05 g (3.30–8.70 g). The nutrition of selected natural yoghurts is presented in Table IV.

Table IV

The nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in the natural yoghurts –information on the food labels from the lowest to the highest carbohydrate content

No.BrandThe name of the yoghurtEnergy value in 100 g
Energy (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fats (g)Proteins (g)
1PiątnicaGreek-type yogurt 0% fat51.004.100.008.70
2ZottNatural yogurt67.004.203.004.90
3CandiaGreek-style natural yogurt121.004.4010.003.30
4Lidl BiotredBio yogurt [EKO]72.004.703.505.00
5ZottNatural yogurt Jogo Vita52.004.801.005.10
6BakomaNatural yogurt Greek type102.004.907.503.70
7Biedronka TolonisNatural yogurt Greek type125.005.0010.003.80
8ŁowiczYogurt Greek125.005.0010.003.80
9MlekovitaNatural yogurt Greek type115.005.009.003.60
10Biedronka TolaYogurt natural57.005.102.503.50
11DanoneActivia natural69.005.103.404.50
12BakomaNatural thick yogurt60.005.202.803.60
13Lidl PilosYogurt natural 2.5%61.005.202.504.30
14MlekovitaNatural polish yogurt55.005.302.003.90
15BieluchNatural light yogurt 0%38.005.500.004.00
16Biedronka TolaNatural yogurt with calcium58.005.702.004.30
17Lidl PilosNatural yogurt 2%58.005.702.004.30
18DanoneNatural mild yogurt69.005.803.004.60
19PiątnicaNatural yogurt58.005.902.004.00
20KrasnystawNatural yogurt58.006.002.004.10
21KrasnystawNatural yogurt Calpro60.006.002.004.50
22Biedronka TolaNatural creamy yogurt70.006.303.004.40
23CandiaGreek style natural light yogurt74.006.403.504.20
24BakomaNatural yogurt mild taste63.007.301.505.00
25BakomaNatural yogurt 0%52.007.600.005.50
MEAN71.605.454.004.42

In the analysed flavoured yoghurts the mean energy for 100 g of the product was 108.92 ±28.12 kcal (71.00–168.00 kcal). The mean carbohydrate content for 100 g of the flavoured yoghurts was 15.25 ±2.61 (11.10-21.50) g, the fat content was 3.73 ±2.47 g (1.30–10.10 g), and protein 3.21 ±1.17 g (3.20–7.00 g). Table V shows the energy value of the chosen flavoured yoghurts.

Table V

The nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) in the flavoured yoghurts – information on the food labels from the lowest to the highest carbohydrates content

No.BrandThe name of the yoghurtEnergy value in 100 g
Energy (kcal)Carbohydrates (g)Fats (g)Proteins (g)
1DanoneStrawberry yogurt71.0011.101.602.80
2ZottYogurt with honey88.0011.602.503.90
3ZottYogurt with strawberry90.0012.002.703.50
4KrasnystawPear yogi83.0012.502.502.50
5PiątnicaPiątuś105.0013.003.006.20
6DanoneYogurt with sponge cakes122.0013.404.102.80
7BakomaBIO yogurt with plum and muesli90.0013.702.303.50
8ZottYogurt with coconut balls97.0013.702.703.50
9DanoneYogurt with coconut balls145.0014.108.503.10
10BakomaBIO yogurt with plum93.0014.202.503.40
11PiątnicaYogurt 0% fat with berries78.0014.400.007.00
12MlekovitaYogurt polish with peach92.0014.602.502.80
13ZottYogurt strawberry - wild strawberry100.0014.802.603.50
14MlekovitaVanilla yogurt99.0015.002.502.80
15BakomaYoghurt men93.0015.202.402.90
16Lidl PilosYogurt with peach101.0015.502.303.70
17DanoneFantasy with tangerine121.0015.905.302.30
18DanoneFantasy with white chocolate168.0016.0010.103.20
19DanoneFantasy with milk chocolate166.0016.909.303.30
20Lidl PilosYogurt with passion fruit107.0017.202.201.70
21DanoneGratka73.0017.601.301.80
22BakomaCreamy yogurt with peach mousse119.0018.004.302.10
23DanoneTwisted yogurt118.0019.403.302.50
24BakomaYogurt for the senses152.0019.806.802.60
25BakomaCreamy yogurt with fruit and gronolaggranola moussegranola mousse152.0021.505.802.90
MEAN108.9215.253.733.21

Table VI shows the comparison of the energy value between the 2 groups of yoghurts.

Table VI

Comparison of mean nutrition (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) between the 2 studied groups of yoghurts – natural vs. flavoured

Nutritional valueMean ±SDp-value for Student’s t-test
Natural yoghurtsFlavoured yoghurts
Energy value in 100 g of the product (kcal)71.6 ±25108.92 ±28.11< 0.001
Carbohydrates content in 100 g of the product (g)5.45 ±0.8515.24 ±2.61< 0.001
Fat content in 100 g of the product (g)3.53 ±3.143.72 ±2.540.808
Protein contents in 100 g of the product (g)4.42 ±1.053.21 ±1.17< 0.001

The energy value and carbohydrate content was significantly lower in natural than in flavoured yoghurts. There was no significant difference in fat content between natural and flavoured yoghurts.

The lowest mean energy value was determined in the group of natural kefirs (46.10 kcal/100 g). Natural yoghurts and flavoured kefirs had similar energy value: 71.60 kcal/100 g (34.08 kcal more than natural kefirs) and 74.84 kcal/100 g (37.32 kcal more than natural kefirs), respectively. Flavoured yoghurts had the highest energy value (108.92 kcal/100 g) – 62.82 kcal more than natural kefirs.

Table VII

Comparison of the mean nutrition value (energy value, carbohydrates, fats, proteins) between studied groups of fermented milk products: natural kefirs – A, natural yoghurts – B, flavoured kefirs – C, flavoured yoghurts – D

Nutritional valueNatural kefirs (A)Natural yoghurts (B)Flavoured kefirs (C)Flavoured yoghurts (D)The value for the ANOVA Test
Mean energy value in 100 g of the product (kcal)46.1 B,C,D71.6 C,D74.84 C,D108.92 A,D< 0.001
Mean carbohydrates value in 100 g of the product (kcal)4.67 C,D5.45 C,D11.31 A,B,D15.24 A,B,C< 0.001
Mean fat value in 100 g of the product (kcal)1.64 B,D3.53 C,D1.88 A,B,D3.72 A,C< 0.001
Mean fat value in 100 g of the product (kcal)3.14 B4.42 A,C,D3.36 B3.21 B< 0.001

Natural kefirs had the least carbohydrates (4.67 g/100 g). The natural yoghurts had only slightly higher content of the carbohydrates (5.45 g/100 g). Flavoured kefirs had 6.64 g more carbohydrates than natural kefirs and 5.86 g more than natural yoghurts. Flavoured yoghurts had the most carbohydrates – 10.58 g more than natural kefirs, 9.80 g more than natural yoghurts, and 3.94 g more than flavoured kefirs.

The comparison of the energy value between the studied groups of the dairy fermented products is presented in Table VII.

ANOVA analysis and Tukey’s test revealed that natural kefirs had the lowest energy value and carbohydrate contents out of the 4 groups of studied fermented milk products, and the difference was statistically significant.

Discussion

This study assessed the nutritional value of kefirs and yoghurts widely available for purchase in Polish supermarkets. According to the European Parliament and Council Act (UE) no. 1924/2006 from 20 December 2006 on nutrition and health claims made on foods [7], an appropriate/low sugar content in a solid product can be claimed if it contains no more than 5 g of sugar per 100 g. The term carbohydrate is used by the authors in respect to all types of carbohydrates contained in the studied milk products, both naturally occurring and added sugars.

In the conducted study Polish flavoured kefirs and yoghurts on average contained, respectively, 11.31 g and 15.24 g of carbohydrates per 100 g of the product. Therefore, it can be said that flavoured kefirs available on the Polish market contain twice and flavoured yoghurts contain three times the recommended amount of sugar. However, the natural kefirs and yoghurts contain, respectively 4.67 g and 5.45 g per 100 g of the product; therefore, they are composed from considerably lower amounts of carbohydrate in comparison to their flavoured counterparts. It should be noted that in both groups (natural kefirs and yoghurts) there are products that do not fulfil the criterion regarding maximum carbohydrate content. Within the studied group of natural kefirs, 8% exceeded the recommended maximum carbohydrate content, and within the natural yoghurts - as much as 64% did not meet this recommendation.

There were no significant changes reported in the results of this study compared to the results obtained by Wierzejska 5 years prior, in which sugar content in flavoured kefirs and yoghurts available on the Polish market was determined as 11 g and 13 g, respectively, per 100 g, whereas in natural kefirs and yoghurts the amounts were 4.4 g and 5.4 g per 100 g [11]. In other countries: Australia, Great Britain, and the Republic of South Africa, the observations of Coyle in 2019 indicated considerably lower sugar contents in flavoured yoghurts and milks (respectively, 11.9, 12.4, and 10.1 g) [12].

Analysis conducted by Azaïs-Braesco in 10 European countries indicate that 15–21% of energy requirements in adults and 16–26% in children are covered by simple carbohydrates. According to this analysis, the main source of simple carbohydrates are sweets (36 to 61% in adults and 40 to 50% in children), beverages (12 to 31% in adults and 20 to 34% in children, fruit juices excluded), and dairy products (4 to 15% in adults and 6 to 18% in children) [13].

The important aspect is to answer the question regarding how many among the fermented dairy products available in the Polish market fulfil the norms of the previously mentioned act [7]. The authors have not found the answer in available publications. According to their own and the quoted research, one could conclude with a reasonable level of certainty that it is a small percentage of fermented milk products available in Poland. It was established in this study that 34% of all examined milk products contained the appropriate amount of carbohydrates. For example, the analysis from Great Britain reported that only 9% of the yoghurts available on the market contained the recommended (≤ 5 g/100 g) quantity of carbohydrates [14]. The results obtained in Ireland were slightly more optimistic, reporting that out of 486 studied flavoured yoghurts available, 37% contained an appropriate (≤ 5 g/100 g) amount of carbohydrates [15].

The latest reports regarding carbohydrate content in dairy products dedicated to children are noteworthy. The observations of Lythgoe revealed higher free sugar content in milk products for children than in their standard equivalents [16]. According to the WHO, free sugars are sugars added to beverages and food by the producer, cook, or consumer as well as sugars naturally occurring in honey, fruit juices, syrups, and fruit juice concentrate [17]. Another analysis of yoghurts for children in Great Britain, Equador, Guatemala, and Mexico revealed alarmingly high carbohydrate content. According to the results, the average carbohydrate content in the yoghurts in the previously mentioned countries exceeded the EU recommended carbohydrate content (5 g/100 g) at least fivefold [18]. It is acknowledged that consumption of high-quality fermented milk products significantly influences diet quality. This fact is particularly significant regarding children experiencing intense growth. The publication by Hobbs serves as an example. The authors documented that daily yoghurt consumption above 60 g in children between 4 and 10 years of age contributes to lowering blood pressure and in children between 11 and 18 years of age to lowering of HbA1c level [19]. Also, Zhu noted that consumption of fermented dairy products by children contributes to an increase in phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and potassium intake, simultaneously lowering fat and sodium consumption [20]. Nevertheless, as indicated above, fermented dairy products dedicated to children often present less favourable contents than products without such dedication.

According to the food pyramid, the healthy eating plate, and current dietary guidelines of Polish National Institute of Public Health - National Institute of Hygiene, it is recommended that 2 portions of dairy products are incorporated in our everyday diet. As a result, consuming flavoured, fermented dairy products could lead to exceeding the daily recommended carbohydrate intake [21]. This fact seems to be amplified by the constantly growing popularity of flavoured products. The wide availability of such products is one of the main determinants of the consumers’ choices [11].

Data printed on the label enables the consumer to assess the nutritional value of a particular product. The label of each product ought to contain information regarding the content of sugars and sweeteners. The role of such information is to protect the consumer against eating products with potentially unfavourable contents [22]. The Vargas-Meza study from 2019 conducted among Mexican consumers confirmed the importance of clear labelling of products. According to its results, clear labelling of food items contributes to better dietary choices among consumers [23].

In the flavoured milk products, the most common flavoured addition, apart from added sugars, is processed fruit, which contains significant amounts of carbohydrates. Considering that currently the producers have no obligation to inform about the amount of added sugars on the label, the consumer is not able to determine how much of the carbohydrates mentioned on the label come from flavoured additives [20]. Dairy fermented products enriched by flavoured additives prove high stability of polyphenolic compounds and anthocyanins in cooling conditions, which is important for the producers [24]. Therefore, it should be noted that introducing the obligation to give more detailed labelling regarding carbohydrate content in flavoured fermented dairy products, e.g. the amount of added sugars, or the control their amount per 100 g of the product, seems necessary.

A diet rich in simple carbohydrates is widely recognised as one of the main causes of being overweight and obese. It is vital to follow the guidelines limiting the consumption of products containing their large quantity, including milk products [25]. Strategies of reduction of added sugars are present in health policy programs in Poland and many other countries [26]. Multiple studies indicate that government initiatives have a positive influence on sugar intake reduction, and they result in improvement of health. An example of that is the analysis by Hashem, published in 2019, concerning the initiatives of sugar intake reduction. It proved that such initiatives can reduce sugar consumption by up to 11%, which corresponds with a reduction of sugar intake of 91 g per day [27]. Multiple studies confirm the positive influence of reduction of sugar consumption on the occurrence of body weight and obesity [28]. The strategy mentioned above might be aided by information regarding the analysis of the rejection threshold of fermented dairy products by the consumer. The rejection threshold is the minimum amount of a particular ingredient below which the product stops being attractive in the consumer’s opinion [29]. According to Hashem, the carbohydrates can be effectively reduced to half of the initial amount. The quoted research and the conclusions should be taken into consideration while devising new guidelines regarding fermented dairy products as well as shaping consumers’ awareness and therefore the health of the society.

Limitations of the study

It was impossible to determine the content of free sugars in the products due to a lack of such information on the food labelling. The studied products were not analysed depending on the type of free sugar added (to determine the amount of added saccharose, glucose-fructose syrup, and fructose).

Conclusions

Natural kefirs and yoghurts available for the Polish consumer are the most beneficial fermented milk products.

We confirm that out of the dairy fermented products available in Poland, mostly natural kefirs fulfil the criteria of the European Parliament and Council Act (UE) no. 1924/2006 from 20 December 2006 nutrition and health claims made on foods.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Mr Peadar De Burca who checked the English language standard of the article.

Notes

[1] Conflicts of interest Conflict of interests: none declared.

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