The difference between kefir and fermented baked milk.

The selection of various dairy products on store shelves today is so great that it is very easy to get lost in this variety. Yogurt, ayran, katyk, yogurt, buttermilk... Sometimes you have to make a lot of effort to figure out “what they eat with what”. But often we do not know everything about products familiar from childhood. How, for example, does kefir differ from fermented baked milk? Let's try to find out.


Kefir - a white fermented milk drink, which is made from whole or skim milk by means of fermented milk and alcoholic fermentation. In this case, the so-called kefir fungi are used, which are about two dozen different microorganisms.

Ryazhenka is a yellowish-beige, creamy fermented milk drink obtained from baked milk by lactic fermentation.


Ryazhenka is a traditional product of Slavic cuisine. This is evidenced by its ancient, now almost not used folk names - "kolotukha", "zavdavanka", "parukha", "sour cream". It is believed to have been invented in Ukraine. Scientists have proved that zealous housewives, back in the 17th century, put so-called glechiks in the stove - low clay pots full of fresh milk and cream, and simmered their contents for a long, long time to a beautiful cream shade, without bringing them to a boil. Then a little sour cream was put into the pots as a leaven. The process of producing fermented baked milk in the factory is very similar today, except that instead of sour cream, streptococcus bacteria and Bulgarian bacillus culture are usually added to baked milk. For a long time, products similar to fermented baked milk have been held in high esteem - Varenets and Caucasian yogurt (matsun), as well as Turkic katyk. Reminds of fermented baked milk and western yogurt without any additives.

Kefir came to us from the North Caucasus. An almost detective and very romantic story is very popular about how at the beginning of the 20th century, a dairy technologist Irina Sakharova, a young pretty girl, went to the highlanders for "Mohammed's millet" (as kefir fungi were called here) and the recipe for making a magic drink. The beauty was kidnapped by a local prince to marry her. The case was considered in court, and Irina agreed to drop the charges in exchange for a recipe for the production of kefir and 10 pounds of kefir fungi. Her request was granted. This is how the drink of longevity appeared in Russia. Ayran and koumiss are partly similar to kefir: they are also obtained by a mixed type of fermentation - lactic acid and alcohol, as a result of which lactic acid and ethyl alcohol are formed in the product. So, alcohol is really present in kefir, but in microscopic quantities (0.2-0.6%).

Ryazhenka is a rather fatty product and, accordingly, less dietary and more high-calorie than kefir. So it is better for those who are losing weight to include kefir in their diet. The minimum fat content of fermented baked milk is 2.5%, mainly in stores there is a drink with a fat content of 4-6%. For kefir, this indicator is much more "scattered": there is both completely fat-free kefir (0%), and a drink with 1.5%, 3.2% and 3.6% fat content. True, many people choose fermented baked milk, as they appreciate its more delicate flavor compared to kefir. High-quality fermented baked milk is always uniform in consistency, in it, unlike kefir, there should be no clots or gas formation. The only thing that can be found in fermented baked milk is milk froth.

In cooking, kefir goes well with meat, fish, poultry, eggs and other protein suppliers, unlike fermented baked milk, for which the best friends are primarily fruits and berries. But in a cocktail based on naturally sweet fermented baked milk, when compared with a drink based on more sour kefir, you do not need to add honey or sugar. Ryazhenka goes well with yeast-free grain breads and vegetables. Many people note that the feeling of fullness after eating fermented baked milk lasts longer.

Both kefir and fermented baked milk are called prebiotic products. Both are very beneficial to health. Although a dietitian will most likely advise taking kefir as a lower-calorie drink. But the therapist, on the contrary, will rather give preference to fermented baked milk made from thermally processed milk, in which there are practically no foreign bacteria left. In addition, with a long heat treatment, the concentration of nutrients in fermented baked milk significantly increases (since part of the water evaporates). So, despite its high fat content, ryazhenka is considered by many doctors to be more useful than kefir, which also has gas-forming properties and is not suitable for people with a sensitive stomach.


  1. Kefir is produced using a mixed type of fermentation - lactic acid and alcohol, only lactic acid fermentation is used to make fermented baked milk.
  2. Fermented baked milk is made from baked milk, kefir is made from ordinary milk. Therefore, kefir and fermented baked milk differ in color: fermented baked milk is beige, and kefir, respectively, is white.
  3. Ryazhenka is from Ukraine, and kefir is from the North Caucasus.
  4. Kefir is a more dietary product, fermented baked milk is more fatty and high in calories.
  5. Kefir may contain clots and produce gases (therefore, it is not suitable for people with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract). Only milk foam is allowed in fermented baked milk.
  6. Ryazhenka has a sweetish, delicate flavor, kefir is sour, sharper.
  7. Kefir's “relatives” are ayran and koumiss; ryazhenki - varenets, katyk, yogurt, yogurt without additives.