Sensory properties and drivers of liking for Greek yogurts

J Dairy Sci. 2013;96(12):7454-66. doi: 10.3168/jds.2013-6973.


Greek yogurt is currently the largest growing sector in the dairy industry. Because no standard of identity exists for Greek yogurts in the United States, and they can be made by a variety of methods, variability in sensory properties is expected. Knowledge of consumer perception and specific drivers of liking will be useful information for product developers. The objective of this study was to document the sensory properties of commercial Greek yogurts and to determine drivers of liking through descriptive profiling and consumer testing. Flavor and texture attributes of commercial Greek yogurts (n = 24) were evaluated in triplicate by a trained descriptive sensory panel. An online survey (n = 520) was used to collect consumer usage and attitude information for Greek yogurts before consumer acceptance testing. Consumer acceptance testing (n = 155) was then conducted on commercial Greek yogurts (n = 10). Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used for data analysis. Sensory properties of yogurt differed with fat content and manufacture (Greek vs. fortified Greek). Full-fat yogurts were characterized by firmness and denseness, whereas low- and non-fat yogurts lacked firmness, denseness, cohesiveness, and, after stirring, viscosity. Fortified Greek yogurts generally had more surface shine and jiggle and lower denseness compared with traditional Greek yogurts. Fewer flavor differences were observed among yogurts compared with texture differences. Fortified Greek yogurts displayed a burnt/beefy flavor not documented in traditional Greek yogurts, but this flavor was not evident in all fortified Greek yogurts. Consumer preferred Greek yogurts with firm, dense texture, moderate sweet aromatic, milkfat and dairy sour flavors, and moderate sour taste. Consumers were aware of the increased protein content of Greek yogurts but generally unaware of differences between strained and fortified Greek yogurts; both strained Greek and fortified Greek yogurts received the highest overall liking scores in blinded acceptance testing. Successful Greek yogurts can be manufactured using addition of dried dairy ingredients or by traditional straining and centrifugation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Consumer Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Dairying / methods*
  • Dairying / standards
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Food Handling / standards
  • Food, Fortified / analysis*
  • Internet
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States
  • Viscosity
  • Yogurt / analysis*
  • Yogurt / standards*


  • Dietary Fats