In the Slimming World diet, fat-free natural yoghurt is allowed. So is fat free cheese (quark, cottage cheese, fromage frais). Breakfast has most often been yoghurt and fruit (other options: omelette, veggie sausage, mushrooms and beans, poached egg and kippers). Thus I have found myself eating a lot of fat free dairy this last 4 weeks, and perhaps unsurprisingly, have got a bit nerdy about it.
Which, of the many fat free yoghurt options available in sunny Aberystwyth, is the best?
It’s time for the Yoghurt Excellence Framework!
I have consumed and reviewed each yoghurt, recording various measures of excellence. These measures are to be combined into one unitary score known as the YEF (Yoghurt Excellence Framework). As with other excellence frameworks (TEF, REF) the rules are entirely transparent and reasonable. We require our yoghurts to be of international quality, cost effective, and nutritionally balanced. There are a number of other aspects we wish to take into account (whether or not the yoghurt is live, where it is manufactured, etc.) and these have been captured using the tried and tested value added score, a non-linear function of sub-measurements.
From Figure 2 it is clear to see that yoghurt excellence is a hard thing to measure; once the value added score is incorporated, there is no clear winner. Liberté has a very strong showing in the Taste category, but loses out on value added as there are a number of yoghurt miles involved in this product (it seems to be manufactured in France), and it is not live. Ordering by taste alone gives a very different picture.
It is important to try to quantify these things, however. If we don’t rank our yoghurts, how can we know if we’re getting the best yoghurt experience possible?
There remain some questions at the back of my mind. Is it more important to have international excellence in taste, or a yoghurt of reasonable cost? Fage costs nearly 5 times as much as Milbona. Might the difference between 52 and 76 calories per 100g be too small to worry about? Might cost be a good thing? This is certainly the case in the REF and the TEF, where high spending is seen as a positive component of the score.
I guess designing an excellence framework might not be as easy as it looks…