If we let yogurt sit for more days, the yogurt becomes more and more sour. Why does that happen?

2 Answers 2


Lactic acid is produced by 'probiotic' bacteria breaking lactose into lactic acid. Over time, more lactose is converted, producing more byproducts, thus more sourness.

The byproducts of this reaction are responsible for the distinctive flavor of yogurt.

See a more complete description here: Lactic Acid Fermentation

  • For a more basic description, see here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curd#Formation
    – logophobe
    Jul 29, 2014 at 16:17
  • If you have something to add to your answer, please just edit it rather than adding a comment - it makes it easier for people to see!
    – Cascabel
    Jul 29, 2014 at 17:59
  • whups! :-) didn't see the edit link, thank you Jul 29, 2014 at 18:21
  • 1
    Lactic acid is, itself, sour -- you don't need "byproducts" to make it sour. Jul 29, 2014 at 19:57

Yogurt is sour because of the process of fermentation, whereby lactose bacteria make energy by breaking down lactose to glucose and galactose. Glucose then enter glycolysis to produce energy in a form of ATP and NADH, and lactic acid is produced as a by-product (waste product). The production of lactic acid makes the pH of the milk to drop, from approximately 6 to 4 and it is this lactic acid that makes yogurt sour.


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