Fermented milk products, also known as cultured dairy foods, cultured dairy products, or cultured milk products, are dairy foods that have been fermented with lactic acid bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Leuconostoc. The fermentation process increases the shelf-life of the product, as well as adds to the taste and improves the digestibility of milk. There is evidence that fermented milk products have been produced since around 10,000 BC. A range of different Lactobacilli strains has been grown in laboratories allowing for a wide range of cultured milk products with different tastes.
Many different types of cultured milk products can be found around the world.
|Product||Alternative names||Typical milkfat content||Typical shelf life at 4°C||Fermentation agent||Description|
|Cheese||1-75%||varies||a variety of bacteria and/or mold||Any number of solid fermented milk products.|
|Crème fraîche||creme fraiche||30-40%||10 days||naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria in cream||Mesophilic fermented cream, originally from France; higher-fat variant of sour cream.|
|Cultured sour cream||sour cream||14–18%||4 weeks||Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis*||Mesophilic fermented pasteurized cream with an acidity of at least 0.5%. Rennet extract may be added to make a thicker product. Lower fat variant of crème fraîche.|
|Filmjölk||fil||0.1-4.5%||10–14 days||Lactococcus lactis* and Leuconostoc||Mesophilic fermented milk, originally from Scandinavia.|
|Yogurt||yoghurt, yogourt, yoghourt||0.5–4%||35–40 days||Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus||Thermophilic fermented milk, cultured with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.|
|Kefir||kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros||0-4%||10–14 days||Kefir grains, a mixture of bacteria and yeasts||A fermented beverage, originally from the Caucasus region, made with kefir grains. Can be made with any sugary liquid, such as milk from mammals, soy milk, or fruit juices.|
|Kumis||koumiss, kumiss, kymys, kymyz, airag, chigee||4%?||10–14 days||Lactobacilli and yeasts||A carbonated fermented milk beverage traditionally made from horse milk.|
|Viili||filbunke||0.1-3.5%||14 days||Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis* biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris and Geotrichum candidum||Mesophilic fermented milk that may or may not contain fungus on the surface. Originally from Sweden but today is a Finnish specialty.|
|Cultured buttermilk||1–2%||10 days||Lactococcus lactis* (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis*, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis biovar. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris)||Mesophilic fermented pasteurized milk.|
|Acidophilus milk||acidophilus cultured milk||0.5-2%||2 weeks||Lactobacillus acidophilus||Thermophilic fermented milk, often lowfat (2%, 1.5%) or nonfat (0.5%), cultured with Lactobacillus acidophilus.|
* Streptococcus lactis has been renamed to Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis