Written through Lisa Wartenberg, MFA, RD, LD ~ above June 29, 2021 — median reviewed by Sade Meeks, MS, RD, Nutrition

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product touted because that its gut-boosting properties, high protein content, and natural flavor (1).

Whether she looking to expand its shelf life or simply craving a nutritious summer treat, you may wonder whether you have the right to freeze yogurt there is no compromising that is quality.

You are watching: Does freezing yogurt kill the good bacteria

This short article explains even if it is you have the right to freeze yogurt.

Share top top PinterestToscaWhi/Getty Images
You can store yogurt safely in the frozen refrigerator in a closeup of the door container at 40°F (4°C) because that 1–2 mainly (2, 3).

However, if you decide to save it in the freezer, friend can extend its shelf life to 1–2 months (2).

You have to take a couple of considerations right into account as soon as freezing yogurt, including yogurt’s active bacteria content and also texture.

Do live and active bacteria survive freezing?

The U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) calls for that any kind of yogurt consists of milk and also at least two details strains the bacteria — Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus (4).

Some yogurt manufacturers rise these live and energetic cultures with additional strains, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and also Bifidobacteria (5).

You may recognize these live and energetic cultures together probiotics. Consistently consuming probiotic-rich foodstuffs like yogurt might confer a host of health and wellness benefits, including intensified immunity, enhanced digestive health, and lower cholesterol level (1, 5, 6, 7).

Yogurt’s health-promoting live bacteria are thermophilic, which way that they grow under optimal temperatures.

For yogurt’s probiotics, this variety tends to hover above 98°F (37°C) and also below 130°F (54°C). While castle are eliminated at greater temperatures, they make it through in her freezer because that at the very least a couple of weeks (8, 9, 10).

One test-tube examine looked at frozen yogurt made with two traditional bacteria strains — L. Bulgaricus and S. Thermophilus). After a 35-day freeze period, researchers found no significant decrease in the amount of bacteria existing in the yogurt (9).

Researchers suspect that the live bacteria just lay dormant till the yogurt is s (9).

You additionally should take into account that details added ingredients, such together fruit and grains, might be detrimental come the survival of bacterial strains (10).

Textural changes

The most notable difference between yogurt that has and also hasn’t been frozen is its texture (8, 10).

Some yogurts might look noticeably thinner or grainer structure after freezing.

It isn’t inexplicable to view tiered layers as you thaw your yogurt. This is since freezing collapses the protein networks in yogurt. The procedure releases water that, when frozen, separates native the milk solids.

Thawed yogurt doesn’t make the smoothest sauce — therefore if she at all concerned around texture, save your s yogurt because that a baking task or a smoothie.


The health-boosting live and active bacteria uncovered in yogurt endure freezing. The most discernible change is the texture, which is grainier or diluent after freezing.

Consider exactly how you plan to use the yogurt ~ you frozen it.

Whether you arrangement to eat the on its own or usage it as an ingredient in a recipe will identify the type of yogurt it is most an ideal to your need.

Check for added stabilizers

If she planning come eat yogurt directly out that the container after freezing it, save in mind that yogurts with added stabilizers will freeze best.

Look because that ingredients prefer pectin (a fruit fiber), xanthan gum (a sugar), and also gelatin (a protein), which avoid yogurt native separating in the freezing process. They execute so by gelling, or lending a constant structure to the proteins discovered in yogurt (11).

If your yogurt doesn’t have actually these stabilizers, be certain to stir her yogurt well v a clean spoon. This stays clear of the milk solids and water indigenous separating as lot as they would certainly without doing so.

Then, brand your yogurt and also simply stick it in the freezer. If you’re utilizing a container other than what you purchased the in, be certain it’s sanitized prior to storing it.

How come thaw yogurt

While it may make some sense to thaw her yogurt out on a countertop after freezing, it’s safer to thaw that in the refrigerator.

This help ensure that the yogurt continues to be within a safe temperature variety that inhibits unsafe bacteria from prospering (11, 12).

Ideally, friend should location your frozen yogurt in the refrigerator the night prior to you plan to consume it. If you’re pressed because that time, you have the right to keep that on the respond to for up to 2 hours. When this won’t fully thaw it, it can soften the yogurt.

If the yogurt was made from life milk, nothing thaw it on the respond to for any period of time. This is since yogurt made from life milk might contain E. Coli, which may cause condition or even death (13, 14).

Be certain to examine the expiration date. Yogurt that has actually been frozen prior to its expiration date can tho be eaten as lengthy as girlfriend eat it automatically after thawing it.

Finally, always use your common sense. Discard any yogurt the smells turn off or has actually noticeable indicators of microbial growth, together as black mold or a slimy film, regardless of even if it is it has actually passed that expiration date.


Consider exactly how you setup to use yogurt after you frozen it. If you will do it eat it straight from the container, look for products that incorporate a stabilizer, i beg your pardon will avoid separation. Thaw that in the refrigerator overnight, but toss anything the smells or watch off.

Yogurt is a popular, tasty, and also versatile fermented dairy product. The health-promoting properties are plentiful.

See more: In Tuck Everlasting Man In Yellow Suit Ask Winnie'S Grandmother?

Yogurt’s live and active cultures survive the freezing process. Still, you must thaw that in the frozen fridge overnight to ensure that it stays safe come eat.

Be certain to inspect for added stabilizers if you plan to eat it straight from that is container, together yogurts there is no these often tend to take on a grainy texture after freezing.

Most thawed yogurts are an ideal for food preparation or baking, regardless of whether they contain stabilizers.