Best Yogurt Starter Cultures

Glasses with yoghurt

Live yogurt starter cultures packed with good bacteria or probiotics are necessary for making homemade yogurt.

Top Yogurt Starter Culture 2020

There is something great about making homemade yoghurt. Whether you enjoy the process or simply want to ensure wholesome, nutritious meals, making yoghurt at home gives you the opportunity to use ingredients that you love. 

Homemade yogurt helps you stay away from all the preservatives, stabilizers, colours, fillers and sweeteners that most commercial brands use.

But, you need the best yoghurt starter culture as the key ingredient for wholesome yoghurt. There are varieties on the market; however, not all meet up to the promise in quality. 

In this article, I have ranked the best starter cultures based on real user reviews and answered some of the frequently asked questions about cultured yogurt.

Best Yogurt Starter Culture 2020 - A Detailed Look

Yoghurt Starter Cultures

Yoghurt starter sachets like this one from Natural Probiotic Selection are excellent for making small batches of yoghurt.

Key Facts

  • Works great with all yoghurt making appliances
  • Contains live active bacteria
  • One sachet makes one litre
  • Pure bacterial blend
  • Free from GMO, gluten and additives.

The live yogurt cultures are available in sets of 5, 10 and 12 sachets. On this note, you can choose what works for you depending on how much yoghurt you intend to make. They are of high quality and incredibly active for delicious, wholesome yoghurt.

More to this, one sachet makes one litre of yoghurt making it suitable for small families that enjoy making homemade yogurt regularly.

Yoghurt Starter Culture

If you are looking for pre-measured cultures for small batches of yoghurt, these sachets will come in handy.

The convenience of using one sachet at a time makes this starter culture the best choice for an individual. 

One sachet makes a litre of yoghurt, and you do not have to measure which saves you time. 

The starter culture contains live bacteria such as Lactobacillus bulgaricus which is essential for yoghurt making.

Key Facts

  • Pack of 10
  • One pack makes one litre of yoghurt
  • Has live bacteria
  • High-quality
  • Ideal with all yoghurt making appliances.

The starter culture makes smooth and creamy yoghurt. Also, you can use it with all yoghurt making appliances and expect quality results each time.

Hansells Like Unsweetened Greek Yogurt

One of the easiest ways to make yoghurt is by using already mature yoghurt. These sachets from Hansells can come in handy to eat or make more yoghurt.

The process is simple, and you do not have to measure your ingredients. With one sachet, you can use your yoghurt maker to make more yoghurt and enjoy it with your family. 

The best part is this Greek-style yoghurt features four live cultures making the yoghurt even more wholesome.

Key Facts

  • Contains four live cultures
  • Fresh and ready to eat
  • Ideal for vegetarians
  • Gluten-free formulation
  • Economical.

The sachets can be quite pricey, but if you enjoy creamy, tasty yoghurt, they are worth every penny.

Freshly Fermented

This organic Greek-style yoghurt starter culture is one of the best in terms of quality.

Finding organic cultures for yoghurt can be challenging, but luckily the market has some credible brands. 

This particular one is certified by the Organic Food Federation ascertaining its quality. Also, it is packed in food-grade mylar and does not need any activation.

Key Facts

  • Reusable formulation
  • Easy and quick to use
  • Thermophilic yoghurt
  • Thick and creamy
  • Organic and wholesome.

The best thing about this starter culture is that it is reusable. That means you can make several batches from the first batch. This makes it quite economical for people that make yoghurt regularly.

Mad Millie Yoghurt Culture

If you are looking for your first yoghurt starter culture, this pack of 5 from Mad Millie can be a great choice.

One of the things that make this starter culture the best is the fact that it can make all types of yoghurt. Think of coconut, soy, chocolate, Greek yoghurt, etc. It contains live and highly active bacteria to ensure complete fermentation.

Key Facts

  • Ideal for all types of yoghurt
  • Can be frozen
  • Highly active
  • Contains live bacteria.

You can buy these sachets and use one at a time depending on how much yoghurt you need. 

One sachet can make up to 2 litres of yoghurt hence economical for regular users.

EasiYo Yogurt

If you enjoy a variety of yoghurts, then this pack of cultures is for you.

The pack comes with two Greek yoghurt starters, two natural yoghurt, two low fat and two fat-free starters. These can come in handy if you like different yoghurts and want to make them all at home.

The sachets make it easy for you to make yoghurt. You only need to add the contents to a jar and mix with cool water. Then fill your yoghurt maker with boiling water and put the jar inside. In just 12 hours, your yoghurt will be ready.

Key Facts

  • Four different flavours
  • Fresh and free from additives
  • One sachet makes 1kg of yoghurt
  • Easy to use
  • Live bacteria.
Bulgarian Starter Culture

Making large batches of yoghurts has never been this easy. With the ten capsules of starter culture, you can make up to 20 litres of yoghurt.

The fact that the starter culture comes in capsules makes it super easy to use for regular yoghurt-making. One capsule makes up to 2 litres of yoghurt hence economical for regular fermentation.

The best part is that the starter culture can be reactivated again after using. 

You do not have to buy a new set of capsules each time. With the live and active cultures, you can make yoghurt several times with the same capsules.

Key Facts

  • Live cultures
  • Economical
  • Free from GMO and additives
  • Plant-derived capsules.

Sachets are always convenient and make the process of making yoghurt much easier and quicker. This pack of 12 is ideal if you enjoy making yoghurt regularly.

This starter culture is made by blending live and active bacteria in a laboratory environment. This means they come in the best of quality and are unaltered for best results.

Key Facts

  • Live active bacteria
  • Free from additives and GMO
  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Can be re-cultured.

This yogurt starter culture does not contain any additives, gluten and GMO. They are therefore ideal for vegetarians and those on the SCD diet.

Plain Yogurt Starter Culture Blend

This starter culture is ideal for non-dairy vegan users and can be used to make all types of yoghurt.

This starter culture for yogurt comes in the best quality containing probiotic bacteria strains, ideal for gut health. 

These are beneficial for digestion and the overall GI tract.

Key Facts

  • Contains L. bulgaricus probiotic bacteria
  • Makes thick and creamy yoghurt
  • Ideal for lactose-intolerant people
  • Comes as a pack of 6.

The sachets make thick and creamy yoghurt which you can sweeten or leave sour.

What Is Culture in Yogurt?

Culture in yoghurt are starters that bring about the fermentation of lactose.

Usually, these good bacteria are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. They ferment lactose which is milk sugar to produce lactic acid. As the lactic acid increases, pH decreases and results in milk clotting. 

The clotting then forms a soft gel giving the yoghurt a creamy texture.

What to Look for When Choosing a Yogurt Starter


Staters are available in liquid, ultra-frozen or dehydrated forms. All do the same job but require different storage requirements to remain active. 

For example, liquid ones can stay in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks at about 8°C. Frozen cultures need to stay under -40°C and can last up to 6 months. Dried or dehydrated cultures can stay for six months to a year.

Bacteria Strain

Pure cultures contain a single strain of bacteria, while mixed cultures have more than one pure cultures. 

The components on the starter culture you choose as that will determine the outcome. 

The most common bacteria strains are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Temperature Growth Characteristics

Mesophilic cultures grow at a temperature range of between 20 to 45°C while thermophilic are most active in temperatures between 35 to 45°C. 

There is not much of a difference, but if you intend to make large batches of yoghurt regularly, it is advisable to keep this in mind.

Common Questions

What Can I Use as a Yoghurt Starter?

You can use already fermented yoghurt as your culture or buy new starter cultures. 

Most cultures on the market can be re-cultured meaning you can use them again after the first use.

How Do You Make Yoghurt Starter Culture?

You can make yoghurt starter culture at home by mixing ½ gallon of milk with two tablespoons of probiotic yoghurt.

Then heat the milk to 180°C and then cool it to 115°C. 

You then need to inoculate with the starter culture and incubate for several hours. 

Once its thick, then your starter culture is ready.

How Does a Starter Culture Work?

A starter culture digests lactose in milk and turns it to lactic acid. This results in the fermentation of milk resulting in yoghurt.

Making yoghurt at home and adding your flavours is convenient. Not only do you get the freedom to make as much as you need but also the leeway to create your own recipes. 

Once you purchase quality starter cultures such as my top pick from Natural Probiotic Selection, making yoghurt can be hassle-free, quick and fulfilling.

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