New standards for yogurt

FDA is considering a petition from major yogurt manufacturers to revise the standards of identity for yogurt. The proposed change would require that, for the first time, a minimum level of bacteria be added to yogurt products.

Dairy products heat treated for longer shelf life could not be called yogurt. Yogurt would have to contain at least 51% standard and optional dairy ingredients. FDA extended the original comment period for 90 days until January 27, 2004.

The change is opposed by some smaller yogurt manufacturers because of the costs of testing for bacteria levels and by some dairy farmers who, apparently, fear yogurt makers will begin using imported milk protein concentrate.

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