Most homemade yogurt recipes/protocols call for yogurt products that have "Live Active Cultures" printed on its box.

I would like to ask if regular, snack yogurt will suffice for making homemade yogurt?

Also, are the snack yogurt products pasteurized/heat treated AFTER fermentation, thereby lowering the concentration of yogurt-related microorganisms?

  • May be of interest to you: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/83616/homemade-plain-yogurt/… I don't know if all yogurts are "live active cultures", however.
    – SnakeDoc
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 19:03
  • 1
    This is actually 2 pretty different questions. Recommend you split it into two: 1. Can I use store yogurt to make homemade yogurt? (maybe) and 2. Are snack yogurt products heat treated after fermentation? (sometimes).
    – Wolfgang
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 20:57
  • There are many "snack yogurt products" so why not read the labels first? The question is too vague, as the answer will be: maybe. The answer to the second question is of course "yes", though the milk may be pasturized beforehand as well (most likely). Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 8:31

1 Answer 1


There are different yogurt products on the market and many are heat-treated for stability.

If you make yogurt with active bacteria, they will continue to live and digest the lactose in the milk you started with. This also means the flavour profile of the yoghurt will change over time - most significantly during the first hours or days, but the process won't really stop. This is something yogurt manufacturers have to deal with as well. An easy solution is to kill the bacteria with heat, but of course that means you won't be able to use that yogurt to make more yogurt - there are no live yogurt bacteria present any more.

Laws vary between countries, but for example in Germany, manufacturers are allowed to heat the yogurt to kill the bacteria (but must write "heat treated"1 on the label). They may or may not choose to do so. On the other hand, keeping the bacteria alive and active allows for marketing the yogurt as especially healthy. Organic manufacturers are generally forbidden to heat their product.

If you want to try your hand at making yogurt, I strongly suggest you stay away from any snack or convenience products that have a long shelf life and additives, even if they don't have any hint about heat treatment on the label. Especially if the product doesn't need refrigeration - then it's certainly pasteurized or similar. Your best bet would be a pot of non-flavoured organic yogurt (choose a brand/product you like to get the bacteria type for your batch) or, if you want a specific kind and be really sure, a special starter culture, available in some "health food" stores or online.

1 Obviously they have to use a German term, which is "wärmebehandelt".

  • I did try a big carton of Emborg, however incubated it for only 8 hours. I need to try it for 18!
    – wearashirt
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 3:23
  • @wearashirt Please find another brand, Emborg is heat treated.
    – Stephie
    Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 4:34
  • Once the lactose is over, the bacteria will start dying? Because they don't have any more to eat and digest?
    – Vikas
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 15:31

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