Live & Active Culture Yogurt
What makes yogurt - well, yogurt? The words "live and active cultures" refer to the living organisms, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which convert pasteurized milk to yogurt during fermentation. Note that the milk is pasteurized before culturing to remove any harmful bacteria. The process is very similar to that used when making beer, wine or cheese, in that beneficial organisms ferment and transform the basic food. This fermentation process is what creates yogurt, with its unique taste, texture and healthful attributes.
Some yogurt products are heat-treated after fermentation, which kills most of the beneficial active cultures found in the yogurt. To help you identify those yogurt products that contain live and active cultures, the National Yogurt Association (NYA) has established a special Live & Active Cultures seal. The NYA is a national non-profit trade organization whose purpose is to sponsor health and medical research for yogurt with live and active cultures and serve as an information source to the trade and the general public. The Live & Active Culture seal, which appears on refrigerated and frozen yogurt containers, helps you recognize those products containing significant amounts of live and active cultures. The seal is a voluntary identification available to all manufacturers of refrigerated yogurt whose products contain at least 100 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture, and whose frozen yogurt contains at least 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture. Since the seal program is voluntary, some yogurt products may have some live cultures but not carry the seal. It is, however, the industry validation of the presence and activity of significant levels of live cultures.
Look for the Live & Active Cultures seal on the yogurt you buy, and learn more about live and active culture yogurt by visiting Yogurt: Wholesome Food for Every Body.
Don't be Fooled: Not all Yogurts are Created Equal
Live and Active Culture (LAC) Yogurt FAQ's
Yogurt - A Glossary of Terms
Yogurt: Wholesome Food for Every Body
Yogurt Standard of Identity
NYA Position Statement on Probiotics - September 2006