Does Freezing Yogurt Kill Probiotics?

If you are looking for a food that is healthy, easy to eat in the morning, and that will give you a boost throughout the day, yogurt is the perfect snack for you.

In the grocery store, you can find many different types of yogurt, but one of the healthiest is Greek yogurt; this is because Greek yogurt is full of probiotics that have many health benefits. You want to store the yogurt in the freezer, so it lasts longer, but can freezing kill the probiotics in the yogurt?

Freezing yogurt will not kill the probiotics in the yogurt. The freezing will cause the probiotics to enter a dormant state, but they will awaken when the yogurt is back to room temperature.

Continue reading to learn more about freezing yogurt as well as the best way to freeze your yogurt to ensure that it stays good to eat.

What is Frozen Yogurt?

There are many different types of yogurt. You have Greek yogurt, homemade yogurt, and frozen yogurt.

By the simplest definition, frozen yogurt is yogurt that is frozen. Frozen yogurt is defined as a frozen dairy product that contains live cultures all within a milk base. This milk base can be whole, nonfat, skim, or low fat.

Two live cultures are injected into the dairy base of the yogurt during the yogurt-making process. These live cultures are primarily Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. They are used to start the fermentation process.

Some manufacturers will add other live cultures into the yogurt to help improve the probiotic benefits. After the yogurt is made, a flash freezing process is used. This turns the yogurt into frozen yogurt.

Is It Safe to Freeze Yogurt?

It is safe to freeze yogurt. Freezing yogurt can help to extend the shelf life of the yogurt. Yogurt can be kept in the refrigerator for a period of one to two weeks.

If you keep your yogurt in the freezer, it can stay good for approximately one to two months. Freezing your yogurt will not take any of the benefits you may receive from eating that yogurt away. It can actually ensure that you benefit from the yogurt longer as it will last longer. 

Will Freezing Yogurt Kill the Probiotics?

Freezing yogurt does not kill the probiotics in the yogurt. It will put the probiotics in a dormant state.

This means that the probiotics will be inactive when it is kept frozen. Once you take your yogurt out of the freezer and it gets to room temperature, the probiotics will become active again, so you can benefit from them when you eat your yogurt.

The best method for freezing your yogurt is flash freezing. This method freezes your yogurt quickly. When freezing your yogurt, you want to make sure that you prevent crystals from forming when any water in the yogurt freezes. These crystals can kill probiotics and cultures.

You can have this risk when you place your yogurt in the freezer. Flash freezing can prevent these crystals from forming, so you protect those probiotics and cultures that are in the yogurt. For this reason, you want to be extra careful and take precautions if you plan on freezing your yogurt.

How to Freeze Yogurt

When freezing your yogurt, you want to conserve as much of the bacteria in the yogurt as possible. Just placing your yogurt in the freezer and allowing it to freeze in this manner can lead to water crystals forming which can kill the probiotics and cultures that are in the yogurt.

You want to use the method known as flash freezing. When you flash freeze your yogurt, you drop the temperature as quickly as possible down to freezing. This will help to avoid killing any of the bacteria or probiotics in the yogurt and ensure that they are in a dormant state where they can be reactivated when brought to room temperature.

In order to successfully flash freeze your yogurt:

  • You first want to place your yogurt in a plastic container or a glass
  • Then, you want to cover the container of yogurt with an airtight lid. This will keep any extra moisture from getting into the yogurt
  • Next, you want to place the container in a bowl that has ice, salt, and water
  • You want the container to sit in the bowl for around ten minutes
  • Finally, you want to transfer the yogurt to the freezer

If you follow these steps, you should be able to freeze your yogurt without killing any of the bacteria or probiotics in the yogurt. You also want to keep these steps in mind in case you want to refreeze your yogurt after you have eaten some of it.

How Long Can Yogurt Be Stored in the Freezer?

The maximum amount of time that you can keep your yogurt in the freezer is approximately two months. If you leave your yogurt in the freezer for longer than two months, it will not be as good or as healthy for you.

After two months in the freezer, the probiotics and bacteria cultures that are in the yogurt will begin to degrade. They will also start to die over time.

It is best to not leave your yogurt in the freezer for a long period of time. The sooner you thaw the yogurt and eat it, the more benefits you can get from eating the yogurt.

How to Thaw Frozen Yogurt

When thawing frozen yogurt, you do not want to just leave it out on the counter. This is a bad way of thawing that could end up ruining the yogurt.

You want to transfer your yogurt from the freezer to the refrigerator. Thawing the yogurt in this manner ensures that the bacteria and probiotics in the yogurt are safe and that the yogurt is still kept at a temperature that is safe for you to eat it.

To properly thaw your yogurt, you want to place it in the refrigerator approximately 24 hours before you plan on eating it. This can ensure that it is properly thawed.

Final Thoughts

Yogurt is a nice and healthy treat that you can eat at any point during the day. It is full of probiotics that are good for you and help you maintain your health.

You can freeze yogurt, but you want to use the flash freezing method to freeze the yogurt to ensure that no water crystals form that can kill the probiotics and bacteria cultures that are in the yogurt.

You can keep your yogurt in the freezer for around two months. When you are ready to eat it, you want to thaw it in the refrigerator 24 hours before you plan on consuming the yogurt.