Can you freeze yogurt?
In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you freeze yogurt?” and tell you what would be the consequences to its properties by doing so.
Can you freeze yogurt?
Yes, you can freeze yogurt, who doesn’t like a fresh yogurt popsicle in the middle of the summer, but if it’s not your case, well, by freezing yogurt you may increase its shelf life for a few months, but maybe once it melts, its texture may not be the same.
When freezing yogurt, all its components crystalize, and some of them may get their structures broken, making them more fragile when restored to room temperature, and you may see that it seems milkier with water.
Nonetheless, melted yogurt may not represent any risk to your health if you take it to room temperature in adequate conditions, that is, taking it from the freezer to the fridge, and not leaving it at room temperature, because at room temperature bad bacteria may also grow in the yogurt (1)
Does freezing yogurt affect its nutritional properties?
Freezing yogurt may affect its nutritional properties, most of the nutrients in food are affected by freezing, but certainly, it would depend on the time that you keep your yogurt frozen. In fact, freezing is a good way to increase the shelf life of food and maintain some of its nutritional properties (2).
When you freeze a yogurt the components that are responsible for the loss of nutrients and the original structure of the food, like enzymes or biochemical processes, are diminished, nonetheless, the sole effect of freezing has been demonstrated to reduce the properties of nutrients.
The loss of nutrients by freezing doesn’t mean that now you don’t have to freeze any food, sometimes it’s necessary, and increasing the shelf life of the product with a slight decrease in its nutritional properties, surely is best instead of wasting the product (3).
Also freezing is not perfect in all ways, you may see that when a frozen yogurt melts, it certainly will not look like it before, that’s because the water in the yogurt crystalizes, also some carbohydrates and proteins may alter its structure, making the yogurt once melted lumpy (4).
Do live bacteria die when yogurt is frozen?
Live bacteria in yogurt may die when it is frozen, most of these beneficial bacteria are susceptible to freezing (5), but that doesn’t mean that you wouldn´t be able to consume it, in fact, the concentration of live bacteria in yogurt may be very low even before freezing (6).
Even if it’s true that we own yogurt to the friendly bacteria that ferment milk, it’s also true that for getting a health benefit from its consumption the bacteria must be in adequate amounts ( 1×109 UFC), but that is something that most yogurts don’t have (7).
Getting a benefit from yogurt consumption may rely more on its nutritional properties rather than the presence or absence of live beneficial bacteria, also when the bacteria ferments the milk those friendly buds before passing away, leaving some bioactive compounds like fatty acids, that enhance the nutritional properties of yogurt (8).
How long does yogurt last in the freezer?
Yogurt may last two months in the freezer, with barely losing nutritional properties, also two months is the period of time recommended for keeping it in the freezer according to the FDA (9).
Remember that you may take frozen yogurt to room temperature by taking it to the refrigeration temperatures near 4°C, or you can also wait one or two hours, and take a spoon and start scraping a delicious yogurt frappe.
If you want to know the nutritional properties of yogurt, you may visit here.
In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you freeze yogurt?” and discussed what would be the consequences of its properties by doing so.
1. De Silvestri A, Ferrari E, Gozzi S, Marchi F, Foschino R. Determination of Temperature Dependent Growth Parameters in Psychrotrophic Pathogen Bacteria and Tentative Use of Mean Kinetic Temperature for the Microbiological Control of Food. Front Microbiol [Internet]. 2018 Dec 5 [cited 2023 May 21];9(DEC).
2. Yochpaz S, Mimouni FB, Mandel D, Lubetzky R, Marom R. Effect of Freezing and Thawing on Human Milk Macronutrients and Energy Composition: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Breastfeed Med [Internet]. 2020 Sep 1 [cited 2023 May 21];15(9):559–62.
3. Qiu L, Zhang M, Chitrakar B, Bhandari B. Application of power ultrasound in freezing and thawing Processes: Effect on process efficiency and product quality. Ultrason Sonochem [Internet]. 2020 Nov 1 [cited 2023 May 21];68.
4. Tehrani M, Moeenfard M. Effect of Some Stabilizers on the Physicochemical and Sensory Properties of Ice Cream Type Frozen Yogurt. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Science. 2008;
5. Terpou A, Papadaki A, Lappa IK, Kachrimanidou V, Bosnea LA, Kopsahelis N. Probiotics in Food Systems: Significance and Emerging Strategies Towards Improved Viability and Delivery of Enhanced Beneficial Value. Nutrients 2019, Vol 11, Page 1591 [Internet]. 2019 Jul 13 [cited 2023 May 12];11(7):1591.
6. Marco ML, Sanders ME, Gänzle M, Arrieta MC, Cotter PD, De Vuyst L, et al. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) consensus statement on fermented foods. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2021 Mar 1;18(3):196–208.
7. Hill C, Guarner F, Reid G, Gibson GR, Merenstein DJ, Pot B, et al. Expert consensus document. The International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 May 21];11(8):506–14.
8. Marco ML, Heeney D, Binda S, Cifelli CJ, Cotter PD, Foligné B, et al. Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond. Curr Opin Biotechnol [Internet]. 2017 Apr 1 [cited 2023 May 21];44:94–102.
9. How long can you keep dairy products like yogurt, milk, and cheese in the refrigerator? [Internet]. [cited 2023 May 12].