Does Freezing Yogurt Kill the Cultures?

Many consumers choose frozen yogurt as a healthy alternative to ice cream. It is normally lower in fat than ice cream, comes in appetizing flavors, and can be made into shakes and sundaes. The freezing process itself does not kill yogurt cultures but other steps might.

Live Culture Frozen Yogurt Standards

Merely freezing yogurt does not kill its cultures.

The National Yogurt Association (NYA) guidelines stipulate that frozen yogurt that carries its seal stating "Live & Active Cultures" has to be made from fermented and pasteurized milk that contains conventional yogurt cultures to create proper levels of acidity. 

Freezing Effects on Cultures

Freezing yogurt merely throws the cultures into a dormant, inactive state that ends when the yogurt is warmed through consumption.  After being eaten, it has the same benefits as refrigerated yogurt.


Some products marketed as frozen yogurt are imposters.  These mixtures are frequently unfermented or contain yogurt that has been heated, which kills the active cultures. To be sure frozen yogurt is authentic, be sure it has the NYA seal on the package. 

About the Author

Cassie Damewood has been a writer and editor since 1985. She writes about food and cooking for various websites, including My Great Recipes, and serves as the copy editor for "Food Loves Beer" magazine. Damewood completed a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in creative writing at Miami University.

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