The pH of Yogurt is between 4.3 to 4.4. Therefore, it is acidic food. Factors which may influence the acidity of yogurt include adding ingredients such as citrus fruits and the duration of fermentation.
Have you ever wondered if yogurt is healthy for you? Do you know the pH of Yogurt? Is it alkaline or acidic? If you want to know the answer to these questions, kindly read to the end.
Yogurt is a palatable and nutritious fermented milk product which is made by thickening cow milk with bacterial strains or pressuring agents such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles. These strains are added with milk, and the mixture of bacteria and milk is then incubated for the conversion of lactose into lactic acid.
This lactic acid is responsible for low pH of yogurt. Due to the acidic mixture, the casein protein in milk coagulates and precipitate out thus thickening the milk into yogurt-like texture.
Although Lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophiles are the major beneficial bacteria strains used, other bacteria can be used such as:
- Bifidobacterium bifidum
- Bifidobacterium lactis
- Enterococcus francium
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus bulgaricus
- Bifidobacterium longum
- Lactobacillus casei
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Saccharomyces boulardii
- Lactobacillus plantarum
Adding bacteria to yogurt is typically the last major step in creating this milk food product. The fermentation step lasts between 4 and 7 hours but may last longer in certain conditions. It is the duration of this step that determines the flavor of yogurt and its exact pH.
What Is pH?
The term pH is used to ascertain or determine the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. The pH scale ranges from zero to 14. While the strongest acid would have a pH of zero, the most basic (also known as alkaline) items would have a pH of 14. Majority of foods have a pH between about 3 and 8.
Anything with a pH of 7 is considered neutral. Water is an example of a neutral food, but since it can come from a variety of sources (from a reservoir, tank or local springs to your kitchen tap), it’s possible to have alkaline water or acidic water. Most water typically has a pH around 7, unless it’s been treated to be more alkaline.
The majority of foods people consume have a pH that’s less than 7. Foods with a pH between 6.9 and 4.6 are considered low acid foods, while those with a pH less than 4.6 are considered high-acid foods. Since yogurt has a pH between 4.3 and 4.4, it is considered a high-acid food.
What is the pH of Yogurt?
The Acidity and alkalinity of yogurt is determined using pH. Yogurt has a pH of 4.3 to 4.4. therefore, it is an acidic food.
While the pH of milk is between 6 and 8, the fermentation process yogurt undergoes reduces the pH of yogurt to 4.3 or 4.4. Additives such as citrus fruits and the duration of fermentation can make yogurt even more acidic.
Yogurt is enjoyed by a great majority of people world over. Due to its popularity, yogurt has occupied a vital position in our daily meal menu, especially breakfast.
A lot of questions have been asked about whether yogurt is alkaline or acidic in nature. The answer to this question is that yogurt is acidic.
Generally, the pH of yogurt is in the range of 4-4.6, averagely 4.4.
In the production of yogurt, pH is the critical control point. pH of yogurt determines its quality and consistency. Any deviation from a standard pH can decrease shelf life of yogurt or can affects its taste. Thus, if you want to prepare a delicious and healthy yogurt, your main consideration should be pH.
Having discussed the pH of yogurt, let’s take a quick look at the medicinal benefits of yogurt.
Is Yogurt Medicinal?
Unlike most other milk beverages and drinks, yogurt has been used as medicine for a very long period of time. Yogurt contain medicinal properties such as probiotic Lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria reside in our intestines and helps the body fight off numerous diseases. It also enhances digestion.
The lactic acid in yogurt besides preventing microbial growth due to low pH, also aids in thickening and it also provides a characteristic tartness to yogurt.
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The characteristic taste and flavour of yogurt is mainly due to production of four major acids. These are:
- lactic acid
- acetaldehyde acid
- acetic acid and
- diacetyl acid.
These four acids are responsible for the development of strong immune system.
These reasons and more are why yogurt is considered as highly nutritious.
Fermentation of Yogurt
Yogurt that is allowed to ferment for shorter periods tends to have a naturally sweeter, milder flavor and a higher pH. This is why the pH of curd is higher than that of yogurt — it is fermented for a much shorter period of time. Most milk products fermented for shorter periods of time are considered to be low-acid foods or even “almost neutral” foods. In contrast, when yogurt is allowed to ferment for longer periods of time, it becomes increasingly sour in flavor and more acidic.
In order to stop the fermentation process from continuing, the temperature of yogurt must be changed. The bacteria in yogurt become dormant when cooled below 98 F (36.7 C). This prevents the yogurt from continuing to ferment but keeps the bacteria viable. Live, active probiotic bacteria are good for your gastrointestinal tract.
All fermentation processes are stopped in the same way. Some yogurts are heat-treated afterward, which kills the bacteria instead. The National Yogurt Association has a Live and Active Cultures Seal that allows you to identify yogurt products that have retained healthy probiotic bacteria. Products with these seals have 100 million live cultures per gram unless they are frozen, in which case they have a minimum of 10 million live cultures per gram.
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Alkaline Diets and Yogurt
The alkaline diet was originally designed to improve renal health, specifically preventing kidney stones and urine infections. It’s also meant to promote a healthy blood pH, around 7.35 and 7.45, since blood is highly regulated by the kidneys.
The benefits of Alkaline diets include the following:
- Increase the pH of your urine
- Increase intracellular magnesium levels
- Increase vitamin D levels
- Improve the function of chemotherapeutic agents
- Improve potassium-sodium balance
- Reduce muscle wasting
- Improve bone health
- Help prevent cardiovascular diseases
Alkaline diets may also be able to improve the function of chemotherapeutic agents and improve the potassium-sodium balance. This balance can improve bone health, reduce muscle wasting and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
The benefits of this diet are not definitive, but alkaline diets are generally considered to be healthy for most people.
Milk Products and pH
If you’re concerned about the pH of yogurt and its acidity, there are a variety of other healthy milk products that you can consume with a higher pH. The pH of milk on its own is between 6.2 and 7.3, and the pH of cream is around 6.5. Butter also has a higher pH that’s much closer to neutral, ranging between 6.1 and 6.4.
In contrast, buttermilk has a pH that is basically equivalent to yogurt (a pH of 4.5). This is because, like yogurt, buttermilk is a fermented food.