The good bugs: Acidophilus

Dear Home Ec 101:

I recently bought a Cuisinart ICE-20 ice cream maker. I’m lactose-intolerant and want to make my own non-dairy desserts. (I’m also planning to experiment with alternative sweeteners like agave, stevia and lo han.)

Last night I made an amazingly delicious batch of peach frozen yogurt. Typically, yogurt can be tolerated by lactose-intolerant people because the live cultures help digest lactose. However, I’m wondered what the freezing process does to those cultures.

Do you know if freezing destroys the live cultures in yogurt?

~Breeding good bugs in Montana

Heather says:

I love this question. I did some digging and according to the folks at Stonyfield, freezing yogurt renders the bacteria dormant, but they become active again when warmed either to room temperature or by your body during digestion.

What you must avoid when making homemade frozen yogurt, if you want the cultures to stay viable, is heat. Keep this in mind when choosing your recipe. Also be sure, if you aren’t making your own yogurt, that the carton bears the seal Live & Active Cultures.



  1. Patia on June 13, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Hey Heather, thanks, this is great! I am so happy to learn that.

    Themomhalf: Thanks for the tip! I have tried powder and am not wild about the aftertaste, so I will try the liquid.

    JRae: I’m not sure, but I thought that the live cultures digested the lactose in your gut. Hmmm, sounds like more research for Heather to do …!

    Pam: What a fun idea!

  2. Pam on June 13, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    If you put a popsicle stick in your yogurt (right thru the lid) then put them in the freezer they make great summer treats for kids…and adults.

  3. JRae on June 13, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    I thought the reason yogurt was better for lactose-intolerant is because the bacteria had already digested the lactose. So wouldn’t the yogurt be fine for you even if the bacteria were killed, because the lactose has already been digested? Obviously someone who is actually lactose-intolerant would have done more research into this than me, I’m just asking because clearly my understanding of how this worked was wrong…

  4. themomhalf on June 13, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Stevia in liquid form tastes better then powdered form, the preservative is different.

    good luck