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You Ask, I Answer: Probiotics, Sugar in Plain Yogurt

Posted Mar 14 2010 10:01pm

Case-of-Fage-781488When it comes to grams of Sugar in plain yogurt, isn’t most of the lactose fermented at time of consumption, resulting in a significant reduction in actual sugar?

Can we utilize lactic acid for energy, or are the grams of sugar on the label taken from the milk without consideration for fermentation?

Related to that, is it feasible to create a probiotic yogurt that is sugar free?

When probotics are added after fermentation do they need additional sugar to be added to keep the probiotics alive?

Of all the varieties of yogurt available, there doesn’t seem to be any probiotic yogurt sweetened with artificial sweeteners.

Just wondering if that was a coincidence?

– Nicole Journault
(Location unknown)

Yogurt labeling is actually slightly inaccurate.

Since, as you point out, bacteria convert some of the naturally-occurring lactose (a type of sugar) to lactic acid (part of what gives yogurt its sour taste), the carbohydrate content is slightly lower than what the label says.

Depending on how long the fermentation process lasted, the sugar content can be anywhere from 3 to 7 grams lower than what is listed on the label!

As for a probiotic yogurt that is sugar-free it can definitely be done.

After all, you can buy probiotic supplements in lactose-free pill or powder form  (FYI: the key for their survivial is refrigeration!).

Even low-carbohydrate yogurts, which tack on artificial sweeteners, contain some lactose, so I can’t identify a barrier.

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