Home » What Temperature Kills Yogurt Culture: 80% People Don’t Know

What Temperature Kills Yogurt Culture: 80% People Don’t Know

Yogurt has been a common food throughout many cultures and demographic groups. Conventionally yogurt was created after the use of bacteria living in it. The process by which it made Yogurt is also advanced and complicated.

Milk is heated at 80 degrees Celsius for half an hour to destroy pathogenic bacteria present. After this is done, it is made into a cold and warm mixture to produce milk for yogurt. The temperature at which the milk is cool is in the range of 44.4C to 46C.

For processing yogurt, adding bacteria to the milk at a considerable temperature is important. If you add the bacteria to the hot milk, these bacteria will be killed due to excessive heat. Technically, yogurt bacteria can’t survive in temperatures above 54 degrees celsius.

Store-bought yogurt undergoes several modifications as compared to the natural processing for homemade yogurt. Such changes are also responsible for killing the bacteria. Hence most of the store-bought yogurts are devoid of fermenting bacteria.

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What are the ideal temperature settings for Yogurt?

Perfect Yogurt

For a smooth and delicious yogurt, it’s vital to know the perfect temperature. Suppose you don’t maintain an ideal range of temperatures for your culture (and bacteria). In that case, they are damaged or not develop correctly in time.

The ideal temperature is  37 degrees (Celsius) to add bacterial cultures to the milk to ferment.

It might seem like a daunting task to control the temperature of your countertop cultures, but there are several easy ways you can do it. For starters, test different areas with simple activities such as placing water in jars at room temperature and taking regular readings on them from time to time before deciding which works best for you!

What temperature kills the Live and active cultures of yogurt?

Every product has at least 100 million cultural cultures per kilogram. The only exception to this rule is freezing products with a maximum of 10 million bacteria per gram.

Heat-treated yogurt and fermented meals aren’t probiotics. But they could still have positive impacts on your body. For example, lactobacillus can affect the immune system or the types of microbe that inhabit a host of the digestive microbiome.

Heated and hot yogurt

If you add bacterium to yogurt as soon as it was still hot, it would die. It is because the probiotic bacteria in yogurt die at temperatures over 130F (54.4C).

Add bacterium to yogurt at moderate temperatures. Then set aside the liquid to fermented for four to seven hours. If you heat yogurt after being cultured, the bacterial culture will die.

Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires making yogurt with active cultures to keep them alive, products you find in a supermarket may not retain living and active cultures after reaching you.

Cold versus hot yogurt

Unlike other bacteria, the bacteria of yogurt are not extremophiles: they won’t grow if they’re too warm or too cold. A cool or frozen yogurt should be left for about 10 minutes before ingesting it.

Here is the underlying principle! When yogurts are chilled or frozen, they have active and live cultures.

How to maintain the temperature in Different seasons?

The temperature of the milk to ferment also varies with the season. In summers, keep the milk lukewarm to ferment it for yogurt processing. In winters, you have to keep the bacterial live warm with consistency.

Ideal Temperature in Winters for yogurt making

In winters, you can notice a fall in room temperature below 21 degrees celsius. Hence, to keep the pace of the temperature, you need to keep the yogurt jar closed and place them in a cozy place like an oven to maintain the temperature.

  • To add extra insulation in chilly winters, you can use a towel or any warm cloth.
  • Another way of processing yogurt in winter is using a beverage thermos.
  • Keeping your yogurt near any electronic device helps in maintaining the temperature of the milk. These electronic devices emit a lot of heat. For example – the top of the refrigerator or near the AC vent.

How to maintain the temperature in summers?

Like winters, there are several ways of maintaining milk temperature in summer:

  • Cooling the temperature of milk up to 37 degrees Celsius before adding bacteria.
  • Keep the yogurt jar in proximity to the cold surfaces. to maintain the temperature in the face of external heat.
  • Put the yogurt jar in an airtight cooler and add ice packs to keep it cool during extremely hot days.

Is it bad to microwave yogurt?

Although yogurt is safe to microwave, heating it in microwave is still not a good idea. The fattu consistency of yogurt change its state into semi-liquid on heating.

Can I warm Yougurt?

If you will heat yogurt above 54 degree celsious, the active cultures in yogurt will die. It also leads to the cuddling of yogurt and makes it visually unappealing.

The taste will also alter to an extent which is not at all likeable.

What happens if I bake the yogurt?

The banking ingredients react with yogurt and make them light and fluffy. The tangy taste of yogurt makes it a good substitute for mayonnaise, creme fraiche, sour cream etc which is free from fat content.

Frequently Asked Questions

At what temperature does yogurt culture die?

Yogurt culture dies at a temperature that is well above 47degrees Celsius. Yogurt bacterium can only survive at less than 47 degrees Celsius.

Is there anyone who can’t eat yogurt because of lactose intolerance?

There is a very small percentage of people who experience intolerance to dairy products. If you are lactose intolerant, avoid yogurt.

Does frozen yogurt contain live and active cultures?

Yes, yogurt contains live and active cultures. Even the plain flavored ones.

FDA does not regulate Frozen yogurt. the same way as regular yogurt. Also, frozen yogurt is no more likely to contain live or active cultures in it.

How to make a thicker yogurt at home?

Add toppings and flavors that are syrup-based or blended granola. You can also use fruit puree for thickening it further.

How to make yogurt last longer?

The shelf life of yogurt on the refrigerator shelf is about 2 weeks, but if you keep it in the freezer, it can last for up to 2 months.

How hot is too hot for yogurt?

The temperature of milk to ferment also varies with the season. In summers, keep the milk lukewarm to ferment it for yogurt processing. In winters, you have to keep the bacterial live warm with consistency.

Is it bad to microwave yogurt?

By over-heating the yogurt, you will end up killing the yogurt cultures in it. Hence, you should not heat the yogurt using the microwave or other heating appliances.

At what temperature does yogurt culture grow best?

32-40 degrees Celsius is the ideal temperature for bacteria to grow. The bacteria will ferment milk sugar into lactic acid which gives yogurt its sour taste and thick texture.


According to Food and Drug Administration, live and active cultures are necessary to make yogurt. If you will heat yogurt beyond certain temperature, it will kill the probiotic bacteria and the yogurt will be devoid of any active cultures.

The duration of fermentation plays a vital role in deciding the neutral or acidic taste of yogurt. At high temperatures, yogurt often turn acidic due to the accelerated growth of bacteria.

It is crucial to know what temperature kills the bacteria to assess the right temperature for yogurt.

Yogurt Expert Sonia Uvezian was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. A renowned expert in Middle Eastern and Caucasian cooking and winner of a James Beard Award, she is the author of six other highly acclaimed cookbooks, such as Recipes and Remembrances From An Eastern Mediterranean Kitchen, Cooking from the Caucasus along with The Book of Yogurt.