Homebodies advised to use safe lactobacillus kit for home-made yogurt

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : March 9, 2021, 15:17 | Updated : March 9, 2021, 15:17

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SEOUL -- South Korean homebodies were advised to use a safe yogurt starter pack instead of leftover products to avoid an unexpected growth of harmful microorganisms inside the fermented milk solution. Making yogurt at home became popular in 2020 when major companies switched to remote working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Normally, yogurt can be easily made by adding yogurt to milk and leaving the mixed solution to ferment for a day at room temperature. A starter pack that includes lactobacillus powder and sugar is sold at stores. The starter kit only requires milk to make yogurt.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety suggested that it is safer to produce yogurt by adding commercial lactobacillus starter packages to milk rather than adding yogurt products. "Home-made yogurt should not be used for reproducing as it is hard to perfectly prevent cross-contamination by harmful microorganisms," the ministry said in a statement on March 8.

When yogurt is contaminated or over-fermented, it may cause diarrhea, stomach pain, bloating, and gas. However, it is not easy to tell whether a yogurt product has gone bad because of its unique sour smell and taste. In ordinary times, a person could simply visit a clinic or a hospital to receive treatment. However, patients need to go through several quarantine steps and sometimes they are required to take COVID-19 tests before seeing a doctor.

According to the Korea Agro-Fisheries & Food Trade Corporation (aT), South Korea's yogurt market in 2020 was valued at 1.3 trillion won ($1.1 billion), up 10 percent from a year ago, as many consumed yogurt products at home. Yogurt added with nuts and other ingredients such as strawberry jam was preferred as meal replacements by those working remotely.

Along with home-made yogurt, the trend of creating a home self-sustainable environment spread quickly. People create small gardens at their balconies to grow herbs. Some found joy in quilting. According to Gmarket, a major ecommerce operator, sales of products used in home gardening and other self-sustaining activities in July 2020 jumped more than 100 percent on-year.
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