U.S -To assist consumers in identifying dairy products with live and active yogurt cultures, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has announced the relaunch of its Live and Active Cultures (LAC) Seal for manufacturers in the United States.

The LAC Seal which is a widely recognized is an independent verification indicating significant levels of live and active yogurt cultures in dairy products.

Recently, the IDFA updated the policies and guidelines surrounding the use of the LAC Seal, expanding the availability of the logo to the entire yogurt and cultured dairy products industry.

John Allan, IDFA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Administrator of the LAC Seal program emphasized the importance of the LAC Seal for manufacturers, stating that the LAC Seal is the best way to reach consumers with this unique health and wellness attribute.

“The LAC Seal is a voluntary certification open to all yogurt and cultured dairy product manufacturers, requiring products to contain at least 100 million cultures per gram, a level ten times higher than the minimum mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” he said.

“The seal is also applicable to frozen yogurt containing a minimum of 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.”

As the sole dairy trade association representing American yogurt and cultured dairy product makers, the IDFA recognized the growing consumer demand for innovative health, wellness, and nutritional attributes in their food and beverage choices.

The term “live and active cultures” holds persuasive power, with a 2021 survey by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) revealing that two-thirds (67%) of those familiar with such cultures believe that products containing them are better for their health.

Key drivers for consumers purchasing yogurt and similar cultured dairy products include gut health and nutrition.

The IFIC survey also revealed that 25% of consumers consider digestive and gut health as their most desired benefit, while 24% prioritize general health and wellness.

Live and active cultures, such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, play a vital role in the fermentation process that transforms pasteurized milk into yogurt, imparting unique taste, texture, and healthful attributes.

Additionally, these cultures assist in breaking down lactose in milk, catering to individuals with lactose intolerance.

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