Yogurt (UK: ; US: , from Ottoman Turkish: یوغورت, romanized: yoğurt; also spelled Yoghurt, yogourt or yoghourt) is a food produced by bacterial fermentation of milk. Fermentation of sugars in the milk by these bacteria produces lactic acid, which acts on milk protein to give yogurt its texture and characteristic tart flavor. Cow's milk is most commonly used to make yogurt. Milk from water buffalo, goats, ewes, mares, camels, and yaks is also used to produce yogurt. The milk used may be homogenized or not. It may be pasteurized or raw. Each type of milk produces substantially different results.

Yogurt is produced using a culture of Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus bacteria. Other lactobacilli and bifidobacteria are sometimes added during or after culturing yogurt. Some countries require yogurt to contain a specific amount of colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria; for example, in China the requirement for the number of lactobacillus bacteria is at least 1 million CFU per milliliter.

The bacterial culture is mixed in, and a warm temperature of 30–45 °C (86–113 °F) is maintained for 4 to 12 hours to allow fermentation to occur, with the higher temperatures working faster but risking a lumpy texture or whey separation.


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