If you've never tasted it, at least you've seen it sitting in the middle of the fresh produce section of your supermarket. Skyr, a white cheese from Iceland, is the new star of dairy products. All brands have seized on the phenomenon, from the traditional Danone or Yoplait to private label brands. Like good old yogurt, skyr comes in fruit, vanilla, low-fat or honey versions, always with the same promise: rich in protein and low in fat, it is excellent for your health.
The consumer association UFC-Que Choisir has decided to dig deep into this Icelandic white cheese, beyond the marketing veneer and its outrageous promises. In a note entitled “Skyr, an Icelandic scam?”, the association begins by noting that the prices of this dairy product “are reaching new heights”, specifying for example that it sells “around €9 per kilo for the Monoprix Gourmet and Siggi's brands, i.e. between 3 and 6 times more expensive than low-fat white cheese.
A pricing policy that raises questions to the extent that, the authors continue, “the recipe for skyr closely resembles that of industrial yogurt, except for the longer draining time”. However, it stands out for its greater protein intake than its neighbors in the fresh section: “on average 30% more than a low-fat cottage cheese,” specifies UFC-Que Choisir. Supported by several experts, notably from the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae), the consumer association affirms that this protein surplus “is probably of no interest for the most of us", since the diet of the French, even vegetarians, is already high in protein.
Note that this greater protein intake may prove beneficial for those over 60. “From the age of sixty, we sometimes lack protein, which promotes muscle wasting and increases the risk of loss of autonomy with age. A few grams more per portion are, in this case, always good to take,” explains a researcher cited by UFC-Que Choisir.
The specialists interviewed by the consumer association also put into perspective the so-called “appetite suppressant effect” of protein products, regularly touted on the Internet. They explain that nothing has so far been "clearly demonstrated" on this subject and that satiety has in any case only been observed beyond a significant weight of protein that the Icelandic preparation is far from. 'reach.