Does Freezing Yogurt Kill Probiotics? (Explained!)

Does Freezing Yogurt Kill Probiotics

Yogurt is one of those foods that’s easy to eat in the morning or throughout the day for a quick healthy boost.

There are different types of yogurt but some varieties, such as Greek yogurt, are known for the healthy probiotics. These friendly bacteria have a multitude of health benefits which makes yogurt a great treat at any point in the day.

However, what happens when you take advantage of that yogurt sale and end up with more yogurt than you can eat? Typically we throw things in the freezer to enjoy them later but does freezing yogurt kill the healthy probiotics?

So can you freeze yogurt or will that kill the probiotics?

Freezing yogurt will not kill the probiotics. The probiotics will enter a dormant state from the cold temperatures and will awaken when brought back to room temperature. However, the best way to freeze yogurt and preserve the most probiotics is by flash freezing it.

Slowly freezing the yogurt by placing it in a freezer may damage some of the probiotics but the majority should survive.

So, if you’ve got extra yogurt that you’d like to enjoy later then flash freeze it.

Just make sure you take that extra care in the freezing process for optimal results.

How To Flash Freeze Yogurt

Yogurt may seem a little finicky when it comes to freezing. Appropriate steps can be taken to ensure most of the probiotics are protected through this process.

Much like kombucha, experts recommend flash freezing food with probiotics in order to avoid killing the probiotics. If the yogurt is simply placed in the freezer directly then the slow freezing process can damage or kill some of the probiotics.

However, flash freezing yogurt at home is very doable! All you need are a few regular household items.

Follow these steps to flash freeze yogurt:

  1. Pour the yogurt into a glass container or bottle
  2. Leave space at the top to allow for expansion of the liquid as it freezes
  3. Cover and seal the container
  4. Place the container into a larger bucket or bowl
  5. Fill the bucket with ice so all sides of the yogurt container are covered
  6. Next place a few tablespoons of salt and water over the ice
  7. Let yogurt sit until ice cold which should happen in a few minutes
  8. Remove yogurt, label with an expiration date 2 months from today, and transfer to the freezer

The yogurt will have been flash frozen so that it is brought to a colder temperature faster which helps preserve the probiotics.

You can follow these steps for yogurt that is already individually wrapped. However, you may way to place the individual yogurt containers in a re-sealable plastic bag in case the lid breaks.


Remember, if you place your yogurt in an airtight container and store it in the freezer directly then you run the risk of the formation of crystals which can kill the cultures and probiotics.

Try to avoid plastic or metal containers as they may affect the health of the probiotics.

How Long Can Yogurt Be Stored In The Freezer?

Yogurt keeps in the freezer for up to 2 months. Past 2 months, the probiotics and cultures will degrade and die over time.

The sooner the yogurt is thawed out and consumed the better. However, it’s best to thaw and use the yogurt within a few weeks of freezing.

How To Thaw Frozen Yogurt

There is only one way to safely thaw out yogurt. Place the frozen yogurt into the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight.

Once thawed out the yogurt may look a bit strange since the water will separate and rise to the top. Do not pour out this water. Instead thoroughly mix the yogurt together and enjoy your yogurt.

Do not thaw out frozen yogurt at room temperature since yogurt that is left out at room temperature too long can develop harmful bacteria that can lead to food poisoning.

Can Yogurt Be Refrozen

Once you have frozen and thawed yogurt once, you cannot freeze it again. Freezing yogurt a second time will kill the probiotics which eliminates the health benefits.

Not to mention freezing yogurt creates ice crystals which alters the texture of the yogurt. So freezing, thawing out, and then re-freezing yogurt will significantly alter the texture of the yogurt where it will be very unpleasant.

Will Freezing Yogurt Kill The Probiotics?

If you flash freeze your yogurt, you will prevent probiotics from dying during the freezing process. However, there is no guarantee even with this method.

Flash freezing, as the name suggests, freezes your yogurt very quickly. This prevents crystals from forming which kill probiotics and cultures.

If you place your yogurt directly into the freezer, you run the risk of killing the probiotics as water crystals form. Take extra care if you plan to freeze your yogurt.

Final Thoughts

For optimal health benefits enjoy the yogurt while it’s fresh.

However, if you find yourself with an abundance of yogurt supply then you can flash freeze it which reduces the chances of killing the probiotics. Make sure to thaw the frozen yogurt in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat some of your frozen yogurt supply.

Now you have a method to keep your excess yogurt so it can be enjoyed up to 2 months later.


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