Yogurt Refrigeration Facts

By Rebekah Richards

Yogurt is a dairy product created by bacteria-curdled milk. Most yogurts have a high protein content but few calories, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Some yogurts require refrigeration.

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Yogurt with Live and Active Cultures

Yogurt with live and active cultures contains live bacteria. Live bacteria are responsible for many of yogurt's health benefits, but yogurt containing live bacteria must be refrigerated. Yogurt with live and active cultures also expires quickly, so always consume yogurt before the "use-by" date on the package or within two weeks of a "sell-by" date.

Heat-Treated Yogurt

Heat-treated yogurt, sometimes called canned yogurt, has been heated after culturing, which kills the live and active cultures. You can safely store heat-treated yogurt at room temperature. Heat-treated yogurt costs less and can be stored for up to 18 months. However, it also provides fewer health benefits than yogurt with live and active cultures.

Health Benefits

Eating yogurt with live and active cultures may improve the immune system, help lactose-deficient patients absorb lactose, reduce yeast infections, reduce the risk of colon cancer and help chemotherapy patients absorb lactose, according to the National Yogurt Association.