The Consumer Education Project of Milk SA

What is maas?

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Maas or amasi is traditional, fermented milk, which is used by many cultures in Africa. It provides all the benefits of a fermented milk product.

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Maas, commonly known as amasi in South Africa, is a fermented milk beverage. It has a liquid-like consistency similar to that of yoghurt or buttermilk, a creamy white colour, a smooth texture and a distinct sour taste.

Amasi is a historically important product in many South African cultures and is still commonly produced in the traditional way by cattle-owning families in rural areas. The first scientific record of the traditional production of maas was recorded in 1939. Modern commercial methods for producing amasi involve fermenting pasteurised cow’s milk under controlled processing conditions, by either in-tank or in-container fermentation. These methods are based on the addition of a permitted starter culture to the milk. These starter cultures are generally mesophilic and typically include Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris and Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris.

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