Email with Robert Quigley – Director – Quigley and Watts Ltd – Yoghurt!

Thank Robert for taking this time to talk with me,

I was just wondering if you knew how to work out what percentage is natural sugars vs added sugar in products. For example, Fresh n Fruity yoghurt has 14.3g of sugar but I do not know how much of this is Lactose vs added. I am still trying to get my head around understand nutritional labels.

Look forwards to hearing form you,
Katrina Berry


Hi Katrina,

Not easy sorry. The manufacturer is unlikely to tell you or anyone who asks, so the best you can do is compare with the unsweetened product (if they have one).

Most unsweetened yoghurts would have between 4-6 g carbohydrate per 100g. It’s lactose that’s not fermented by the bacteria (to create the yoghurt itself). Note the carbohydrate (lactose) level in fluid milk is about the same – 5g/100ml, showing that much more than 100ml of milk is needed to make 100g yoghurt.

Then it’s a straight comparison. 100g sweetened yoghurt might have 12g carbohydrate per 100g (or more in your Fresh and Fruity example), versus say 5g/100g for the unsweetened. Therefore the difference is what sugar is added, 7g/100g, or about 10.5 grams added sugar in a 150g pottle of yoghurt. Each brand will have slightly different numbers because of the bacterial strain they use, the starting lactose in the milk, and how long they let the bacteria work to create the yoghurt (hence using up more lactose).


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