Greek Yogurt

I have been a regular consumer of Greek Yogurt. However, in the past year I started to feel nauseous almost immediately and often after consuming it. I tried different brands, etc to no avail, read online and discovered i wasn’t alone, but no one seem to have any solutions.

In my research, also supported by Choices review, that the defining characteristic of Greek from other ‘ordinary’ yogurt, is that it has additional filtering, that creates a thicker creamier product. So it got me thinking about filtering out ‘what’?

So, for several months I have experimented with different brands, Coles, Woolies, Aldi, and the local WA Mundella. So, using a simple filter bag from my local DIY brewing shop, after 24 hours of filtering my Greek yogurt, I get a lot of of liquid, that I assume is Whey. The result, I am no longer nauseous! I’m happy!!

However, it has me questioning whether these Greek Yogurts are properly filtered, ie, the additional filtering that supposedly defines them?

I don’t find much difference between brands, they all have a lot of what I think is Whey. My latest filtering was two 2Lt buckets, 4lt. After just 24 hours of this simple filtering, I had 2.2kg, fitting into the 2lt bucket!

That is a lot of profit for the manufacturers. There is an incentive not to filter, a 45% incentive! Apart from the Nausia, are we all being ripped off?


Straining of the yoghurt at production won’t remove all the whey, it only removed the whey present immediately on production.

Whey will continue to be produced in a yoghurt, unless a stabiliser is added to fhe yoghurt to reduce the volume of whey produced after packaging.

We buy a natural greek yoghurt which doesn’t have any stabliisers, but continues to produce whey until the whole of the yoghurt is consumed. Whey production from naturally thickened yoghurts is a natural process and results from the acid produced through the fermentation of the milk (milk products) to create yoghurt.

Whey is principally lactic acid (from metabolism of latose by the culture), water, milk proteins and culture.

If all the whey was removed from the yoghurt to prevent further whey being produced after packaging , it would become a soft fermented cheese.


Interesting, but so what?


Maybe Labneh should be bought instead of Greek yoghurt if whey production post purchase is an issue for you. Labneh will produce less whey than Greek yoghurt.

Whey which naturally forms in natural Greek yoghurt (and other narural yoghurt and cheese oroduction) doesn’t increase profits, unless additional whey is mixed into the yoghurt and stabliisers added to prevent the whey separating from the final product. This is likely to have a watery texture and wouldn’t be Greek yoghurt.

I personally prefer a natural Greek yoghurt which is basically milk and culture, without stabilisers, thickeners, sugar or other additives being added. This is historically/traditionally how Greek yoghurts were made and will result in some whey formation post purchase and opening.

The amount of whey produced from Greek yoghurt will also be considerably less than that of traditional natural yoghurts which haven’t been strained, assuming the Greek yoghurt has been strained in the final stages of productionl


Longinthetooth - have you tried making your own Greek yoghurt? The fresher the better in terms of whey production. Some yoghurts have been sitting on supermarket shelves for a week at least I’m sure!

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I think some readers are missing the point.

If you search online it isn’t uncommon to find others like me who until recent times have had no issues with Greek yogurt are now getting nausea. For this to happen to regular users implies change. Have we all changed, have we all started to react to Greek Yogurt after years of no issues, rather enjoyment? Seems a little odd, a little unlikely.

My experimentation, seems to indicate that the nausea emanates from increased Whey!

So, a question becomes has yogurt manufacture changed?

A defining characteristic of Greek, as opposed to other yogurt, is its additional filtering of whey, which has an obvious thickening of the yogurt, and hence increasing the creamy mouth feel.

My experimentation, has shown that several well known brands, widely available brands, actually have a lot of whey in them, 45%. That in fact they don’t appear to have gone through the additional filtering at all. Hence, are they actually Greek style yogurts or just using that description for pure marketing? Are we actually being ripped off?


Making your own yoghurt is extremely easy, I’ve been doing it for quite a few years now in 1 or 2 litre batches. If you want to make Greek style yoghurt, just do a few cuts through the set yoghurt (same as when making cheese) and the whey is released, and easily poured off.
Much less expensive than buying from a shop, and much fresher too!


I haven’t. How do you do it?

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The nausea could be from a number of factors ither than whey. It could be a intolerance developed over time to milk products, high fat foods, an additive other than milk and culture added to the yoghurt (stabliisers for example) etc.

Jumping to conclusions and then searching the internet for an answer is fraught with danger. There are many opinions which are not necessary based on facts.

As I indicated above, strained Greek yoghurt will still generate whey, albeit at less quantities than other natural set yoghurts. Whey is also natural product resulting from the fermentation of milk. Wven strains yoghurts have whey in them as it is retained in the yoghurt post fermentation. It would be impossible to remove all the whey unless some other process occurred to in effect wash out the whey from the yoghurt…I am not away of any processes which would do this but it wouldn’t be yoghurt anymore.

Maybe if the yoghurt is casuing the problem, maybe go for a non dairy yoghurt alternative. There are coconut yoguurts available. Haven’t tried them but other may be able to indicate whether they are a suitable alternative.

The other thing woukd be to consult a medical professional to see if you have developed an allegy to something…especially something in milk/yoghurt products.

Making your own yoghurt (which we do from time to time) will still result in whey formation.


There are many recipes if one searches the internet (Google). These recipes still result in whey being produced from the fermentation processes.

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Or you can buy sachets from Easi Yo or Hansells. In the dessert section at supermarket. You mix the sachet with water in a litre jar and then put it in a yoghurt maker (like a thermos filled with boiling water).
Google how to use some of that yoghurt as starter for your next batch. I strain mine through muslin to get it thicker.

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You are seemingly putting your thoughts as if they are what happened to me. It is very patronising!

I approached this from the problem solving perspective. I don’t have any allergies, intolerance to milk products, high fat foods, stabilizers etc. Rather I started with the claimed characteristic that differentiates ‘Greek’ yogurt from other Yogurt, ie, its additional filtering out of the Whey! My own experiment, not theoretical or dogma driven, no jumping to conclusions - result - no more nausea! I didn’t believe it at first, it seemed too simple. I was very tentative about even trying a test taste, but no adverse reaction. Bought another container some days later, test tasted it, nausea!!! Next day taste tested the additional filtered version, no nausea.

, I am not claiming that there is zero whey in the Yogurt, I can see that there is still whey present, but what my experiments have shown is the very high % of whey, 45%, in supposedly yogurt that has had additional filtration. From my result, not my reading of Google, the claims that these have additional filtration doesn’t stack up.

These are the type of issues that consumers raise on consumer sites.

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This is not necessarily the case and only if labelled as such. There are no standards or specifications in Australia in relation to how Greek (style) yoghurt is produced. Greek yoghurts can be stained, stirred or pot set. Further information on this is available on the Choice Website:

From my understanding is that often milk powders or milk solids are added to many Greek Yoghurts to increase the protein content and also try and create a creamer and thicker product.

Many homemade packet Greek yoghurts, such as EasiYo or Hansells as outlined by @Deeay, are pot set and will contain a similar amount of whey as a traditional natural set yoghurt. The main difference being it is likely to contain more milk powder, milk solids and/or stabilisers such as emulsifiers, gelatin, gums, or thickeners to try and minimise the amount of whey produced.

If one purchases a product with stabilisers and pot set, it will potentially have the same amount of whey trapped within the yoghurt as a Greek yoghurt that has been strained and also has residual whey. The difference being the one with the stabilisers may appear to have less whey as it is held in yoghurt.

I also recall reading on some online websites that whey is ‘toxic’ which made quite alarming reading to anyone who wishes to find out what whey is. This is misinformation (what DT would call fake news) and comes from environmental controls on dairy manufacturers whereby they have strict controls on the release of whey (and other byproducts) into the environment. Standards or environmental controls for releasing into the environment are very different to that for human consumption. This can easily be proven by say olive oil, where if one intentionally released it into a waterway, under most state environmental legislation one could be fined as one has contaminated the waterway possibly causing come environmental harm. Good quality olive oil however is fit for human consumption, whereby it would be seen as toxic to aquatic biota. The same applies to whey.

There are also reports that very high consumption of whey may cause one to feel unwell, but the amounts required for an average person would not be that obtained from normal consumption of yoghurts. I understand that such effects can occur when one is on a restrictive diet and for example is consuming only/mostly protein diet drinks based on milk and dried whey.

There is also mounting scientific evidence that high levels of whey consumption can have some health benefits, such as insulin response/glucose levels post easting in those with type 2 diabetes.

I would not be trying any restrictive diets with high whey products or consuming high levels of whey for any potential health benefits without consulting with a medical practitioner…as any course of action is likely to come with risks which may be different between individuals.

Whey is also slightly acidic (pH as low as 5.0). Acid foods, high fat foods and dairy products are also known to aggravate digestive problems. Greek yoghurt is all three and is why I made the comment about late onset intolerance of some form or another, leading to nausea after yoghurt consumption. It is not being patronising, but a known fact that as one ages ones intolerance/tolerance to foods can change, leading to digestive problems which may not have occurred in the past.

The trigger for nausea could be physiological. I am not saying it is the trigger in this case, but it is known that the human mind can play games when some foods are eaten.


As a quite experienced yoghurt maker, I can see that the addition of things like gelatin would indeed make it appear that there is less whey in yoghurt, but in reality the water content (or part thereof) would just be bound up with the gelatin, and when mixed in with the yoghurt, probably indistinguishable from the curd part of the yoghurt, which is the “greek style” part.

The ingredients I use are full cream milk, ~1cup powdered milk (makes it a bit thicker, I assume by absorbing a bit of moisture that would otherwise contribute to whey content), honey or rice malt (2 tablespoons in 2 litres of milk) yoghurt culture, ABC probiotic (tiny amount of both of these- just a couple of mg), and I usually add a bit of whey from the previous batch.
You can use only a bit of the previous batch to make a new batch instead of adding new culture, but after a couple of iterations the yoghurt flavour and thickness can start to change in a non-desirable manner.

For pot set yoghurt the whey is released when the bulk of the yoghurt is disturbed, but if you give the whole mass of it a thorough stir, the whey will disappear. Otherwise just scoop out the yoghurt and pour off the whey each time you want to use more from the pot.


This is quite interesting…this website has some example moisture contents of some yoghurts…

What is interesting is that one would expect that the moisture content say of a Greek yoghurt to be less than other yoghurts, but is it not the case.

It is also worth noting that cows milk has a water content of about 87%.