Fermented milk products

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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.[1] 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.

Soured milk

acidophilus milk
Central Asiayogurt
 Bulgariakiselo mlyako
Central Asiakefir
Central Asiachal & kumis
 Czech RepublicKefír or Acidofilní mléko
 Denmarkkærnemælk, tykmælk, and ymer
 Estoniahapupiim and kefir
 Finlandpiimä and viili
 GermanySauermilch or Dickmilch
 GreeceXynogalo or Xynogala
 Icelandskyr and súrmjólk
 Macedoniakiselo mleko
 Netherlandskarnemelk (buttermilk)
 Norwaysurmelk or kulturmelk, kefir, and tjukkmjølk[3]
 Polandkwaśne mleko or zsiadłe mleko and kefir
 Romanialapte bătut and lapte acru
 Russiakefir, ryazhenka and prostokvasha
 Serbiakiselo mleko and yogurt
 Slovakiakefir or acidofilne mlieko
 South Africaamasi ("maas" in Afrikaans)
 Swedenfilmjölk, långfil and A-fil (fil is the short form of filmjölk)
 Bosnia and Herzegovinakiselo mlijeko and kefir

Soured cream

sour cream
Central & Eastern Europesmetana
 Croatiamileram/kiselo vrhnje
 Francecrème fraîche
 Icelandsýrður rjómi
 Mexicocrema/cream espesa
 Serbiakisela pavlaka

Comparison chart

ProductAlternative namesTypical milkfat contentTypical shelf life at 4°CFermentation agentDescription
Cheese1-75%variesa variety of bacteria and/or moldAny number of solid fermented milk products.
Crème fraîchecreme fraiche30-40%10 days[1]naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria in creamMesophilic fermented cream, originally from France; higher-fat variant of sour cream.
Cultured sour creamsour cream[4]14–18%[4]4 weeks[1]Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis*[4]Mesophilic fermented pasteurized cream with an acidity of at least 0.5%. Rennet extract may be added to make a thicker product.[4] Lower fat variant of crème fraîche.
Filmjölkfil0.1-4.5%10–14 days[1]Lactococcus lactis* and Leuconostoc[5][6]Mesophilic fermented milk, originally from Scandinavia.
Yogurtyoghurt, yogourt, yoghourt0.5–4%35–40 days[1]Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus[4]Thermophilic fermented milk, cultured with Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
Kefirkephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros0-4%10–14 days[1]Kefir grains, a mixture of bacteria and yeastsA 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.
Kumiskoumiss, kumiss, kymys, kymyz, airag, chigee4%?10–14 days[1]Lactobacilli and yeastsA carbonated fermented milk beverage traditionally made from horse milk.
Viilifilbunke0.1-3.5%14 days[1]Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis* biovar. diacetylactis, Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris and Geotrichum candidum[7]Mesophilic fermented milk that may or may not contain fungus on the surface. Originally from Sweden but today is a Finnish specialty.[7]
Cultured buttermilk1–2%10 days[1]Lactococcus lactis*[4] (Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis*, Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris, Lactococcus lactis biovar. diacetylactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides subsp. cremoris)[1]Mesophilic fermented pasteurized milk.
Acidophilus milkacidophilus cultured milk0.5-2%2 weeks[1]Lactobacillus acidophilus[1][4]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[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Fermented Milk Products". Canadian Dairy Commission. 2007-06-06. http://www.milkingredients.ca/dcp/article_e.asp?catid=145&page=2568. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  2. ^ "Caplis". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calpis. 
  3. ^ "From local food to terroir product ? - Some views about Tjukkmjølk, the traditional thick sour milk from Røros, Norway". 2005-05-04. http://aof.revues.org/document211.html. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g pavlaka "Newer Knowledge of Dairy Foods: Other: Kinds of Other Dairy Foods". National Dairy Council. http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/NationalDairyCouncil/Nutrition/Products/otherPage1.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-30. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Filmjölk" (in Swedish). Arla Foods. http://www.arla.se/Default____17791.aspx?SelectedMenuItem=17372. Retrieved 2007-06-29. 
  6. ^ "Ekologisk filmjölk" (in Swedish). Arla Foods. http://storkok.arla.se/Sites/Storkok/Templates/Product____997.aspx. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Viili: the Finnish speciality" (PDF). Valio Foods & Functionals (Valio) 2003 (2): 4–5. 2003. http://www.valio.fi/portal/page/portal/valiocom/Valio_Today/Publications/valio_foods___functionals05102006130335/2003.pdf#page=4. Retrieved 2007-06-30. 
  8. ^ Schleifer, K.H.; Kraus J, Dvorak C, Kilpper-Balz R, Collins MD, Fischer W (1985). "Transfer of Streptococcus lactis and related streptococci to the. genus Lactococcus gen. nov.". Syst. Appl. Microbiol. 6: 183–195. ISSN 0723-2020. 

See also

Soured milk