Shelf life of yogurt - homemade and store-bought

Yogurt is a healthy fermented milk product that is obtained by fermenting natural milk with certain types of microorganisms. The popularity of this drink (it is also usually consumed as a dessert) is very high among supporters of a healthy diet. Therefore, the question of how to store yogurt is very relevant for many today.

Basic moments

To store this product, you must maintain the correct temperature conditions. It must be borne in mind that the basis is made up of living cultures that can remain active for a very short time.

Store-bought yogurt has a longer shelf life than home-made yogurt. This is achieved with the help of an increased content of various preservative additives and stabilizers. A homemade product containing a live culture will retain its properties for no more than 3-5 days.

Yogurt, which contains fruits and berries, has a shorter shelf life than the same product without filler and containing no sugar.

Yogurt can also be stored frozen. Many housewives use this product to make homemade ice cream. But re-freezing it will lead to a deterioration in taste, and partially to a change in the original consistency.

How long does it keep in the refrigerator and in opened packaging?

  • Bio-yogurts are considered the most useful. They contain the highest concentration of live lactic acid bacteria. This delicacy has a shorter shelf life, which is one week from the date of production.
  • Second in order of increasing period of implementation and decreasing beneficial qualities is pasteurized yogurt. A product that has undergone heat treatment after the ripening procedure is considered pasteurized. Due to heat treatment, the concentration of beneficial bacteria decreases. It can be stored for two weeks.
  • And the last thing on this list is yogurt that can be consumed within one month. Naturally, such a long storage period is achieved by using preservatives and various stabilizers.

It is important to understand that the use of various types of preservatives increases shelf life and reduces beneficial qualities.

Yogurt without additives is considered natural, and it usually has a shelf life of no more than two weeks. It has a sour taste.

The packaging of any fermented milk product must be airtight. The shape and material are determined by the manufacturer in accordance with technical requirements.

Yogurt storage temperature is +2 – +4°C. In other words, the delicacy can not spoil for a long time only in the refrigerator. If the packaging is damaged and there is no refrigerator, it retains its beneficial and tasteful qualities for no more than a few hours. If you open the package and put it in the refrigerator, then such a product will be suitable for no more than a week. In this case, it is necessary to close it tightly and prevent contamination from entering.

How long can yogurt be stored according to GOST?

The manufacturer is required to indicate the release date and expiration date of the product on the packaging.

  • On average, a natural product can maintain its quality within 1 week from the date of manufacture.
  • It also happens that the shelf life of yogurt exceeds 2 weeks. In this case, the manufacturer adds more preservatives . Those. the product is no longer completely natural.
  • And a product that has undergone heat treatment (thermalization) can maintain consumer quality for 1 - 1.5 months.

It must be taken into account that the number of beneficial microorganisms (bifidobacteria) will reach a minimum by the end of the product’s shelf life.

Yogurt can be stored at a temperature of +2°C -+4°C. Only in this case is its consumer quality preserved.

Shelf life and shelf life

When a product says “sell by date”, these dates are for sellers only and not for buyers.

. They tell stores how long they should keep products on shelves and are not related to the expiration date of the products.

The sell-by date does not indicate the time at which a product will begin to spoil or become unsafe for consumption. But it does give clues to how long it will last at home if stored properly. If a product is still on the shelves and has not been sold, the store must remove it from the shelves.

The shelf life is different from the sell-by date and indicates the degree of freshness, but not the expiration date.

Do you properly preserve and store your products?

Of course, this is very important because your health may suffer.


No, what could happen besides diarrhea?


We store it as it turns out, we don’t really think about how and what is right.


Voted: 123

In most cases, this date is set by tasters in the laboratory, who determine that the product tasted best before a certain date.


This also has nothing to do with the safety of the product, but rather with how long it can be stored without losing its properties. For example, sour cream may become slightly sour after a certain date.

These dates can serve as an indication of when the product is approaching its expiration date. This means you should pay attention to indicators that the product may be going bad.

, for example, smell or color. Often these dates are approximate and several days before the product becomes inedible.

Perhaps we should get rid of dates on packages altogether, and instead print on them instructions on how to properly store food and how to tell if it has gone bad.

So how long can you store these foods?

How to store homemade yogurt

How long homemade yogurt can be stored depends on the recipe followed when making it.

The shelf life of natural yogurt packaged in plastic containers does not exceed 3 days. Provided that the product is in a tightly closed container. And the finished dish based on it can be stored for no more than 12 hours. The product has the same shelf life after opening the package.

At a temperature of +3°C, storage of homemade yogurt can last for 3 days, and at +10°C - no more than 24 hours.

Shelf life of yogurt prepared in a yogurt maker

Homemade yogurt is a completely different matter because it contains no chemicals. It can be stored less, because it can quickly deteriorate. This is explained by the absence of preservatives. The question arises, how long does homemade yogurt last on average?

If a person packages the product in plastic containers, then it can be kept in them for up to 3 days. In this case, the container must be tightly closed, otherwise within a day the drink will become unusable. The finished dish can be stored for up to 12 hours without special packaging. During this time, you will need to consume it so as not to encounter an eating disorder.

It is best to keep homemade yogurt at a temperature of +2 degrees, and you can leave it for three days. If the product in a special container is at +10 degrees, then the shelf life will be reduced to 24 hours. After opening the package, on average you will need to drink the drink within 3-6 hours. After this, souring processes begin, and this is extremely undesirable.

From this we can conclude that a purchased product is stored much longer than a homemade one. In this case, it is the second option that will be most beneficial for health. A person is advised to carefully monitor the expiration date so that he does not have to throw away the drink later. The sooner you use it, the better it will be for your health, because as soon as fresh yogurt saturates the body with useful elements and has a beneficial effect on your well-being.

Where to buy sourdough

In stores, natural starters for making are most often found on adjacent shelves with lactic acid products. Therefore, finding them will not be difficult. You can also use ready-made products (both store-bought and homemade) as a starter.

Interestingly, when stored frozen, the starter retains its original properties at -18°C for 2 years.


This type of yogurt, in addition to the main ingredients, includes pieces of canned fruit or berries. They give the fermented milk drink a rich taste. According to GOST, fruit and berry filler should not account for more than 30% of the volume of the entire product. This type of drink, enriched with beneficial bacteria, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, and in the freezer for 2 months.

What to do with an expired product

Cases of severe poisoning are possible after eating expired yoghurt. But it also happens that a product containing white or fruit filler does not cause any particular harm to the body several days after its expiration date. But it’s still better not to risk eating expired products.

The maximum shelf life of yogurt is 5 days at +2°C -+6°C if stored in a tightly closed container. It can also be used as a starter for 5 days.

Yogurt is a healthy fermented milk product, the consumption of which helps the human body cope with many tasks associated with the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, it is recommended for daily consumption, but preferably without sugar. The normal daily intake for an adult is 200 ml, and for a child – 100 ml.

The homemade product is recommended for use not only as a nutritious drink or dessert. It makes an excellent salad dressing that can be used in place of sour cream. The basic rule is to store yogurt in the refrigerator and not to eat expired products.

Homemade or store bought?

Consumers of fermented milk products argue about the benefits of homemade yogurt. The controversy revolves around the composition and manufacturing technology of the product. Homemade drink preparation is based on milk and sourdough, as well as the addition of natural fruits and berries. The absence of preservatives, dyes, and stabilizers indicates the benefits of the finished product. But can you call it yogurt?

The technology for industrial production of yogurt is based on pasteurization of milk, which helps preserve the number of whey bacteria. For these purposes, manufacturing companies use raw materials enriched with calcium, vitamins, and protein. Dairies create optimal conditions for the growth of the starter culture.

The homemade drink is more like yogurt. In the process of boiling milk, the amount of useful substances is gradually reduced, and not all creators can ensure that the raw material maintains a constant temperature of 40 degrees. The finished fermented milk product should be consumed immediately after preparation. The shelf life of homemade yogurt in the refrigerator does not exceed 3 days.

After expiration date

10. Butter

If butter has a shelf life indicated on it, it can be stored for about another month.

after the expiration date if stored properly at around 4 degrees Celsius.

Spoiled oil may have an unpleasant odor, be too soft or too hard.

11. Frozen foods

Frozen foods can be eaten after the expiration date.

With the exception of frozen meat, most foods can be stored in the freezer for months or even years without risk of them spoiling.

Greek Yogurt Recipe

As for homemade yogurt recipes, they have the same basics, with minor differences


For example, Greek yogurt is very thick, and it is usually prepared from goat or sheep milk, with cultures of Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus, but you can make yogurt at home from cow's milk. For the starter, use matsoni, katyk, slightly sour sour cream, Bulgarian yogurt or Mechnikov sour milk - it is also prepared with the bacterial cultures mentioned above. For 1 liter of milk you need 2 tbsp. sourdough, but otherwise everything is done as usual. When the starter is mixed with milk, the container must be carefully closed, wrapped very warmly and placed in a warm place - it can be overnight, and then kept in the refrigerator for several hours.

Ready, ripened Greek yogurt has a smooth surface and looks like jelly - just as dense, and does not run off the spoon when scooped.

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