Written by Maui Wowi Founder Jill Summerhays
Is there anyone under 50 that recognizes the item in the photo? It’s an old fashioned yogurt maker circa 1960. This was a familiar fixture around our house growing up. Although yogurt was difficult to make and required days of bacteria growth and fermentation, my mother kept these yogurt containers in constant circulation. We were often reminded about the healthy live cultures that were important for our digestive system and overall good health.
It’s no secret that Maui Wowi smoothie blends contain a healthy dose of cultured yogurt. We even have our own proprietary non-fat yogurt formula.
So…live cultures? What are they? According to an article on WebMD, Probiotic, which literally means ”for life,” refers to living organisms that can result in a health benefit when eaten in adequate amounts. Live and active cultures refer to the living organisms Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which convert pasteurized milk to yogurt during fermentation. All yogurts are required to be made with these two cultures.
Nutritionists say live and active culture yogurt may be effective in preventing gastrointestinal infections, boosting the body’s immune system, fighting certain types of cancer and preventing osteoporosis. The potential health benefits go on and on.
Additionally, the live and active cultures found in yogurt break down lactose in milk. This may allow lactose intolerant individuals, who commonly experience gastrointestinal discomfort when they consume milk products, to eat yogurt and receive the nutrients contained in the milk product without the side effects.
Can you freeze yogurt and still retain all the health benefits? Does this kill the cultures? According to Brown Cow, a yogurt manufacturer, the freezing process does not kill any significant amount of the cultures. In fact, during the freezing process the cultures go into a dormant state, but when eaten and returned to a warm temperature within the body, they again become active and are capable of providing all the benefits of cultures in a refrigerated yogurt product. Yogurt has made a big comeback, it is probiotic (for life), and we are proud to have been making our smoothies with these cultures for over three decades, long before live cultures were trendy.