Do This To Make Your Yakult And Yogurt Stash Last Longer

This tip will keep it fresh longer!

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ILLUSTRATOR Roselle Miranda

If you are one of those people who cannot end their day without their daily dose of Yakult, you're not alone. It's no surprise that during the pandemic, many people began to hoard their favorite types of food and beverages. This included bread, eggs, and yes, even Yakult. 

There was once a limit to how many you could buy at any one time so for those who bought more than they needed, another concern popped up: how long can you store Yakult? These drinks have an expiry date because they contain live microorganisms that make the drink beneficial. Once these microorganisms are no longer alive, these become just your normal beverage. 

So the other question was if you can preserve your stash of Yakult and other yogurt products beyond the usual 45 days of storage. Believe it or not, you can! You just need to freeze it. 

You might be wondering if it's safe to do this and it is! Yogurt can be frozen since the probiotics or the beneficial bacteria in yogurt can survive below-freezing temperatures. Yogurt products, if unopened, can last two to three weeks refrigerated and lasts up to three months if frozen. 

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However, according to Yakult UK, while you can freeze the drink and other yogurt products, it's not recommended. This is because freezing might affect the live beneficial bacteria that are in the drink. Another concern is the container. Yakult in particular is bottled in thin plastic containers that can easily break and leak. Since these bottles are filled almost full, freezing the bottles may cause the plastic to become damaged and upon thawing, leak. This break can also lead to direct or indirect cross-contamination which could lead to food poisoning. 

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All these concerns are valid but if you buy more Yakult than you can consume within the expiry period, you can resort to freezing your yogurt anyway. Here's what you can do to soothe any of the concerns raised: 

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Place or transfer Yakult and other yogurt products into freezer-ready containers before freezing. 

You can place the bottles in freezer bags or other freezer-safe containers so that it's never in contact with other food, especially raw food that you store in your freezer as well. You know the food container, particularly plastic ones, is safe to store in the freezer if you see this symbol on it.

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You should also grab a marker and write the date of expiry on this new container so you don't forget that you have about three months before the microorganisms may no longer be active once thawed. You also need to remember that you need to consume it within 7 days after the drink has been thawed from the freezer. This is the recommended consumption period if you do decide to freeze your yogurt drinks. 

The Yakult website recommends that Yakult not be drunk after its best before date which is about 45 days. Beyond this, unopened yogurt drinks are said to last up to 10 days beyond the expiry date. 

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