Yogurt is a fairly common food item that is consumed widely by people all over. It is not only a delicious dairy item but is a healthy alternative to ice cream and other dairy products as it is rich in nutrients like calcium, vitamins, sodium, proteins and more. The probiotics in yogurt also help in improving digestion and fighting the side effects of antibiotics as well as strengthening the immune system.
The live cultures yogurt, ones that have the Live & Active Culture seal on it, are the ones to go for when you are buying yogurt in the market. The heat-treat yogurt does not contain these healthy cultures since the excess heat it’s processed through destroys the bacteria.
Now, even though yogurt is this amazing food item that everyone is getting used to, it does come with an expiry date. All types of yogurt come with a date beyond which the manufacturer does not take the guarantee of the quality of the yogurt. Greek yogurt, the most popular type of yogurt, also comes with an expiry date.
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How Long Does Greek Yogurt Last?
Greek yogurt also comes with an expiry date. Greek yogurt, after it’s expiry date as mentioned on the jar by the manufacturer, has the capacity to last for another 2-3 weeks, which means that you can eat the yogurt up to three weeks after its sell-by date. However, this timeline only works if the item is stored properly.
Greek yogurt needs to be kept in an air-tight, sealed container and refrigerated at just the accurate temperature. When the container is kept still for a long time in the refrigerator, there can be a layer of some watery substance just on top of the yogurt. This is simply the natural protein discharge that the yogurt contains, called whey, and is completely safe to be consumed. In fact, it’s one of the most popular forms of protein consumed by athletes all around the world.
How to Check Whether the Yogurt Is Still Safe?
There are multiple ways to assess whether any food item is expired or not. Even with Greek yogurt, there are several methods to tell whether the yogurt is rotten or it’s still safe to eat.
Yogurt is made using bacteria. When the milk is fermented using bacterial cultures and is kept at the right temperature for the prescribed duration of time, yogurt is made. The final product is creamy, thick and has a slightly tarty taste. The process is simple enough that people can make it at home even.
Because the process is straight as an arrow, it also means that it is fairly simple to identify whether it is good or bad. Even home-made yogurt can turn bad, despite using all-natural ingredients. All dairy products have a shelf life, including Greek yogurt.
We know how long Greek yogurt lasts, but how do we find out whether your Greek yogurt is still a viable food item or if it’s time to throw it away? Here are a few ways.
Use Your Sense of Smell
Believe it or not, more often than not, all you need is your old sense of smell to identify whether a food item has turned rotten. If your Greek yogurt has turned bad, it will definitely start emitting a weird odor that isn’t its natural smell. This is a sort of a sour, rancid odor and is fairly easy to detect.
Apart from your sense of smell, you can also use your sense of sight to see any disfigurement in the quality of yogurt visually. If the container has developed a watery layer on the top of the yogurt, there is no need to worry. It can just be the natural proteins that the yogurt contains. Once you remove that and stir the content a little, the yogurt will return to its original texture.
The top watery layer in itself is harmless as well. However, if the texture does not return to normal, the yogurt has most likely gone bad and it’s time to throw it out. Eating bad yogurt can result in acute cases of indigestion.
This one is obvious, yet needs to be explicitly mentioned. Yeast and mold contamination is one of the most common ways in which yogurt can go bad. The outbreak of mold is understandably disappointing. It also appears in different colors, like cream, orange, green or black.
The problem here is that sometimes yogurt might look absolutely fine but you take one spoonful and you realize that it’s not and has been taken over by fungus.
Greek Yogurt vs Normal Yogurt
This is a common confusion among yogurt eaters. The difference between Greek yogurt and normal yogurt is mainly in terms of their contents. Greek yogurt is considered healthier since it contains more protein and calcium. It is also creamier and contains less sugar as compared to normal yogurt.
Greek yogurt is much more beneficial to the body due to its iodine content as well. The presence of lactic acid in it also helps in keeping the skin younger and without spots and wrinkles.
Greek yogurt also lasts longer than generally presumed, owing to its rich formation. It does turn rotten with time, but initially, it’s just whey. When it starts smelling sour, it’s time to throw it away and get yourself a new batch made or buy a new jar from the supermarket.
Extending the Shelf Life
Keeping Greek yogurt fresh and good to consume isn’t exactly rocket science. While it does have a longer shelf life than the regular yogurt, it also turns bad if not kept properly over time. The basic rule to make sure that your tub of Greek yogurt lasts longer is to always keep it in a sealed container and refrigerated.
Keeping it in the refrigerator right from the start can increase its shelf life by at least two weeks. If you want to make it last even longer, you can keep it in the freezer. That way, it can end up lasting for a couple of months after its original expiry date. How long Greek yogurt lasts greatly depends on how well one maintains its storage.