Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. Probiotic bacteria are commonly referred to as ‘good’ bacteria, which have been associated with positive roles in human health. Probiotic cultures may be naturally occurring, or can be added to fermented milk products such as yogurt. Common species include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
Yogurt is a popular fermented milk product and a source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamins B2 and B12. Whole milk, low-fat or skimmed milk can be used in the production of yogurt. The milk is homogenised, pasteurised and cooled. A bacterial starter culture is then introduced, which converts some of the lactose (the naturally occurring milk sugar) to lactic acid, thus acidifying the milk. This gives yogurt its thick, smooth consistency and characteristic flavour. Sugar, sweeteners, fruit, fruit flavours may then be added. The yogurt is then packaged and stored at < 5°C.