What is a bacterial starter culture?

The VIVO bacterial starter culture is a product containing living culture friendly bacteria. These bacteria have a number of characteristics:

  • They are able to ferment milk, turning it into a fermented milk product.
  • They have probiotic properties, thus contributing to the restoration of intestinal microflora.
  • They are antagonistic to many pathogenic microorganisms: in other words, they resist the development of pathogenic bacteria.
What is the way of using the Vivo Starter cultures?

Bacterial starter cultures are used for fermented milk dairy products preparation. Home made fermented milk products prepared with the use of the VIVO cultures have a number of therapeutic and prophylactic properties and several advantages over “the store” yogurts.

Fermented milk products, prepared with VIVO starter cultures, are used:

  • As an alternative to “the store” yogurt, cottage cheese, sour cream in daily meals.
  • As the most physiological (natural) and effective means of microflora restoration and maintenance in cases of dysbacteriosis and dysbiosis.
  • To minimize the negative health effects during and after administration of antibiotics and chemotherapy.
  • As a fermented milk supplement for children aged 2 years and older.
  • To maintain immunity.
  • In dietary nutrition.
How do the VIVO starter cultures help restore the intestinal microflora?

A common method for the microflora recovery is the use of probiotics, i. e. drugs containing beneficial bacteria.

Unlike pills, VIVO fermented milk products represent the most natural way for a person to deliver beneficial bacteria to the intestines.

The second advantage over medication is the amount of beneficial bacteria. The number of bacteria in one average capsule or pill is comparable to the number of beneficial bacteria in one gram of the VIVO fermented milk product.

In addition, a big issue for the intestinal microflora disorders is that the missing beneficial bacteria in the intestine are substituted by pathogenic or conditionally pathogenic microorganisms. The VIVO fermented milk products contain bacteria that counteract the development of many pathogenic bacteria.

During the fermentation process, these bacteria produce lactic acid and other substances that suppress the growth of pathogenic bacteria and fungi.

What is the difference between various VIVO starter cultures?

VIVO starter cultures are distinguished by sets of bacteria species that make up the composition. The difference is in the following:

  • Preparation time and temperature.
  • Taste and consistency of the finished product.
  • Dietary, therapeutic and prophylactic properties of the product.
  • The type of the finished product (kefir, yogurt...).

More information about each type of the starter culture can be found in the catalogue of starter cultures.

Who produces VIVO starter cultures?

The VIVO group of companies was established in 2008 and specializes in the production and sale of bacterial starter cultures used for home made fermented milk products preparation.

Due to the unique properties of the VIVO starter cultures and their high quality and safety, millions of people around the world love and use them.

VIVO starter cultures are widely popular in Ukraine, where they are leading products in the market and are represented in all large supermarkets and drugstores of the country.

The VIVO production facility is located in Brovary, Ukraine. The company has implemented ISO international quality management and food safety systems. The bacterial cultures produced by the world leading companies from France, Germany, Italy and Denmark are used as raw materials.

The VIVO brand pursues a consistent policy of manufacturing high-quality products. The company was awarded ISO 9001:2008 certificates by the International Standardization Organization in 2014, which confirms that the company has implemented and follows the quality management system in accordance with the requirements of the above standard, as well as ISO 22000:2005, which acknowledges the fact that the company supports the food safety management system in accordance with the European standards, and the quality of products is guaranteed by the manufacturer.

The perfect quality and safety of the VIVO starter cultures have allowed the registration of the entire range of VIVO products as a special dietary and baby food product. The VIVO starter cultures can be used both by adults and children aged 6 months and older.

How can we prepare fermented milk products in the yogurt maker?

We need milk, VIVO starter cultures and a yogurt maker.

The starter culture dissolves, mixes with the milk at a room temperature, is poured into cups or into a container (depending on the model) and is placed in the yogurt maker. All this will take no more than 5 minutes of your time. After that, the yogurt maker will do everything automatically. You only have to take out the finished product and put it in the refrigerator.

You can find all the necessary information on the product preparation in the “Instructions” section.

Can we cook fermented milk products without a yogurt maker?

The fermented milk products prepared with VIVO starter cultures can be easily cooked without a yogurt maker.

It is very easy and simple to do this in a multi-cooker or a pot. Using the same way as with the pot, you can prepare the fermented milk product with the starter culture in a thermos bottle or even a glass jar. The methods of product preparation are described in detail in the “Instructions” section.

What is the difference between fermented milk products prepared with the VIVO starter cultures and “the store” ones?

Yogurt prepared with the VIVO starter cultures differs from “the store” one because it contains a large number of useful and living bacteria, it does not contain concentrates, flavours and other harmful additives. This is a totally natural product, always as fresh and healthy as possible.

What is a yogurt maker?

A yogurt maker is a simple and inexpensive kitchen appliance which ensures the preparation of fermented milk products. The yogurt maker consists of an enclosure with a built-in heating element and a container or containers (cups) for fermented milk products preparation.

The purpose of the yogurt maker is to warm the mixture of milk and the starter culture and keep the temperature of the mixture constant during the fermentation process.

What is the difference between yogurt makers?

Major differences between various brands of yogurt makers:

  • The material of the cups and milk container: Glass or plastic.
  • The heating element capacity: The faster the mixture warms from the room to operating temperature, the better.
  • The presence of a temperature sensor that regulates the temperature of the milk mixture; the temperature of the milk mixture may differ from the recommended one without the sensor.
Why hasn’t the starter culture worked?

There are several reasons why the starter culture may not have worked:

  • Incorrect milk temperature. It is essential that the milk mixture has only a temperature variation of +/- 2 degrees from the recommended during the entire ripening period.
  • Wrong time period of fermentation process. It should be noted that a considerable period of time can pass in some yogurt makers used, before the milk warms up to the required temperature when the starter culture begins working. Therefore, this time needs to be added to the recommended preparation time.
  • Adding the starter to hot milk or dissolving the starter culture in excessively hot water, as the high temperature (above 45 degrees) can damage the bacteria making up the starter culture.

 

More on this issue can be found in questions related to the yogurt maker, thermos and milk quality.

The probability that the cause of failure in preparation the product is the quality of the starter culture is extremely low. Every lot of products is carefully checked for bacteria activity at the factory. Before packaging, the bacterial concentrate is thoroughly mixed, which guarantees the uniformity of activity in every bottle. In case the whole lot is discovered as defective, this lot is immediately removed from production before the starter culture is available at stores. The starter cultures retain sufficient activity to produce the quality fermented milk products even when significant violations of storage conditions and transportation temperature occur.

VIVO Quality Assurance
If you do not succeed in your efforts to make a product, do not worry. The VIVO Quality Assurance Program will reimburse you for the cost of the starter culture purchased. And our experts will help you understand the reason for failure and will do everything possible that next time you can make a great product. Under the VIVO Quality Assurance Program, please contact us at: 1-844-369-VIVO (8486) or click here.
Why doesn’t the starter culture product ripen in the yogurt maker?

There are several reasons why the starter culture may not have worked:

  • Incorrect milk temperature. It is essential that the milk mixture has only a temperature variation of +/- 2 degrees from the recommended during the entire ripening period.
  • Wrong time period of fermentation process. It should be noted that a considerable period of time can pass in some yogurt makers used, before the milk warms up to the required temperature when the starter culture begins working. Therefore, this time needs to be added to the recommended preparation time.
  • Adding the starter to hot milk or dissolving the starter culture in excessively hot water, as the high temperature (above 45 degrees) can damage the bacteria making up the starter culture.

 

More on this issue can be found in questions related to the yogurt maker, thermos and milk quality.

The probability that the cause of failure is the quality of the starter culture is extremely low. Every lot of products is carefully checked for bacteria activity at the factory. Before packaging, the bacterial concentrate is thoroughly mixed, which guarantees the uniformity of activity in every bottle. In case the whole lot is found defective, this lot is immediately removed from production before the starter culture is available at stores. The starter cultures retain sufficient activity to produce the quality fermented milk products even when significant violations of storage conditions and transportation temperature occur.

VIVO Quality Assurance
If you do not succeed in your efforts to make a product, do not worry. The VIVO Quality Assurance Program will reimburse you for the cost of the starter culture purchased. And our experts will help you understand the reason for failure and will do everything possible that next time you can make a great product. Under the VIVO Quality Assurance Program, please contact us at: 1-844-369-VIVO (8486) or click here.
What kind of milk should be used for fermentation?

Canadian milk, regardless of whether it is organic or conventional milk, undergoes strict milk quality production procedures and rigorous testing to assure that you have the highest quality milk to enjoy.

If a dairy cow is being given antibiotics for an illness, she is temporarily removed from the milk producing herd and her milk is discarded. Once she has recovered and the antibiotics have cleared her system, her milk is again suitable for human consumption. All milk is rigorously tested for antibiotic residues prior to being accepted at the milk processing plant. All milk producers participate in the Canadian Quality Milk program. This is a science-based, on-farm food safety program that uses a preventative approach aimed at minimizing risks of food safety hazards. It helps to ensure the high quality of Canadian milk.

To make yogurt and kefir, you can buy milk by any Canadian milk manufacturer. Based on our own experience, we recommend to use the following types of milk (see below):

If you want your yogurt to be thicker, use the milk with a big amount of protein, such as Natrel Lactose Free (13 g. of protein).

Do the VIVO starter cultures contain GMO?

The VIVO starter cultures do not contain GMO (genetically modified organisms). This fact is confirmed by studies and relevant documents.

Are the VIVO starter cultures safe?

Our company has sold millions of bottles of starter cultures by now. During all the years of our activities, no cases of food poisoning or other harmful health effects associated with the use of the VIVO starter cultures have been recorded. This fact indicates high safety of the VIVO starter cultures.

Be sure to keep the dishes where you prepare the starter culture products clean. One should also take into account the possibility of individual intolerance to dairy and fermented milk products.

Are there any certificates confirming the safety of the VIVO starter cultures?

Yes! The entire production process of VIVO starter cultures is certified according to ISO 9001:2015 and 22000:2005 standards.

What are the terms and conditions for storing VIVO starter cultures?

The VIVO starter cultures have the following shelf lives:

In the refrigerator (at +2..+6°C) - for 12 months.

We want to assure you that long-term studies have shown the high stability of the starter cultures to variations in temperature during storage and transportation.

What are the terms and conditions of VIVO starter cultures transportation?

Deviations in the storage temperature for up to 10 days are allowed for the period of transportation.

The starter cultures are delivered to outlet chains and stored there at the temperature not higher than 6°C.

We want to assure you that long term studies have shown the high stability of the starter cultures to variations in temperature during storage and transportation.

How long can the finished product be stored?

A finished fermented milk product is recommended to be stored for no more than 5 days in the refrigerator.

Why does the product sometimes have different degrees of thickness?

If bacteria are placed in an unfavourable environment, such as cold milk, they begin to produce polysaccharides, the mucous substances to protect themselves from unfavourable environment effects. These have no effect on human health but can make the product more “viscous” or “mucous.”

To reduce this effect, we recommend adding a bacterial starter to milk heated to the fermentation temperature or using a yogurt maker that quickly heats the milk up to the operating temperature.

How can we make fermented milk products tasty?

You can add honey, fruits, or nuts to the finished fermented milk product. It is recommended to add them to the product immediately prior use, that is: not to store the fermented milk product when mixed with something.

How can we prepare the best quality fermented milk products?

The following factors guarantee the quality of the fermented milk product:

  • Use high quality milk.
  • Do not allow foreign bacteria to get into the milk: use clean dishes.
  • Ensure that the temperature during fermentation is as close as possible to the recommended one: use a yogurt maker with a thermostat or a thermos without thermal drain.
  • Achieve the fastest heating of the milk and starter culture mixture up to the operating temperature.
What does the dry VIVO bacterial starter culture contain?

The composition of the starter is a complex of living bacteria. Their bacterial composition varies depending on the starter culture.

Do VIVO starter cultures have any contraindications?

VIVO starter cultures have no contraindications, except for the individual lactose intolerance.

How much milk does one bottle of the VIVO starter culture need?

One bottle of the VIVO starter culture is designed for the use of between 1 to 3 litres of milk.

How will the quality of yogurt differ if you use 1, 2 or 3 litres of milk?

The amount of milk does not affect the quality. You can prepare any amount in this range and you will get the same quality yogurt. The more milk, the longer the product will ferment. There is no other difference.

Is there any difference between the yogurt made in the yogurt maker and the one made in a pot, jar or thermos?

No. If you follow the directions, the yogurt will be absolutely the same.

What should be the temperature when the starter culture is used?

The temperature for the use of all starter cultures, with one exception, is 37-40°C.

The Kefir starter culture is an exception, the temperature for its use is the same as the room temperature, but should not be lower than +22°C.

For more information on the preparation process, see the “Preparation” section.

How long does it take to ferment yogurt and other VIVO starter cultures products?

The fermentation time is 8-10 hours.

For more information on the preparation process, see the “Preparation” section.

Can I divide the bottle with the starter culture into several servings?

No. The starter culture is not subject to storage after the bottle is open.

Is it possible to ferment the yogurt again?

Yes, you can do it.

For more information on the process of refermentation, see “Preparation” section.

How to referment yogurt?

When refermenting, you must follow the same technology used while preparing yogurt with a dry starter culture. 3-4 tablespoons of the finished yogurt per 1 litre of milk should be used instead of the dry starter culture.

We do not recommend doing this more than once, which means that the refermented product should not be refermented for the second time.

For more information on the process of refermentation, see the “Preparation” section.

How many times can I referment yogurt?

We do not recommend doing this more than once. It means that the refermented product is not recommended to be refermented for the second time.

For more information on the process of refermentation, see the “Preparation” ection.

How long can I keep the yogurt for refermentation?

The maximum shelf life of yogurt for refermentation is 5 days.

What can be done if the person has lactose intolerance?

You can prepare the fermented milk product based on low-lactosed milk or on delactosed milk. Lactose is converted to lactic acid during preparation under the influence of bacteria and the amount of lactose significantly decreases, which is critical for people with lactose intolerance.

What is the reason that the yogurt is very fluid?

If the yogurt is fluid, then it is not fermented enough. This may happen due to the insufficient fermentation temperature or insufficient fermentation time. The cooling of the product during fermentation can also be the reason.

If the yogurt has turned liquid, we recommend leaving it for a couple of hours in a warm place for ripening.

Why did the milk clot and there was a lot of serum?

This is an evidence of the product overripening. This can happen if a very high fermentation temperature is used or very long fermentation period occurs. Such yogurt is not bad in terms of useful properties and benefits for the body, the only difference is that it can be very sour.

Is it possible to eat yogurt that has serum?

Yes, this yogurt is not worse than the regular one in its properties, the only difference is that it can be sourer.

Why is the product very sour?

The product has overripened. You must either reduce the fermentation temperature, or reduce the time of the fermentation period.

Such yogurt is not worse than the regular one in its properties for the body, the only difference is that it can be sourer.

Can I add sugar, jam, fruit, etc. to yogurt?

Yes, you can. But only to the finished product.

When can I add different flavours?

Only to the finished product, and it is better to do it immediately prior to its use.

What can I do to make yogurt potable and not thick?

After the yogurt has been cooled, it must be stirred well. The more stirring, the more fluid the yogurt will be.

Which starters are the best for people with allergies?

It is better to use Probiotic yogurt in this case.

Which starter is more suitable for the microflora recovery?

Probiotic yogurt is the most suitable for the microflora recovery.

Which of the starter cultures is better for athletes?

The Yogurt and Kefir starter cultures are the best ones for athletes.

Are pregnant women and lactating mothers allowed to use the starter cultures?

Yes, they are. There are no contraindications.

There is a section on the site where you can familiarize yourself with the starter cultures, which are the most recommended for pregnant women and lactating mothers.

What starter culture helps to lose weight and why?

We recommend the Kefir starter culture to lose weight.

The secret actually lies in the fact that kefir dissolves fat, not fatty acids, which are collected in the liver, and then converts them into fat, turning them into simple compounds excreted from the body. Eating kefir drastically suppresses appetite, which greatly facilitates the process of losing weight. It is important that the kefir is useful for the micro flora of the gastrointestinal tract. We neutralize and eliminate all of the toxins that are formed as a result of decomposition of food in the intestines, from the body.

What is the best culture to boost immunity?

The Probiotic Yogurt is the best to boost immunity.

Which starters are the best for elderly people?

The Yogurt and Kefir starter cultures are the best for elderly people.

What is better for children during their active growth?

The Yogurt starter culture is recommended during active growth.

Can all starter cultures be taken every day or only certain ones?

All starter cultures can be taken daily

What is the best time to have yogurt?

Yogurt and other fermented milk products can be taken at any time of the day and included in a daily diet.

What quality certificates do VIVO starter cultures have?

VIVO starter cultures have ISO international quality certificates.

What fat status does the finished yogurt have?

The fat status of the finished yogurt will fully correspond to the fat status of the milk used for yogurt preparation.

What are the amounts of proteins, fats, carbohydrates in the yogurt?

These values will fully correspond to the milk ones used for yogurt preparation.

Is there any flavouring in the starter culture?

No.

Can starter cultures cause allergies?

No, they cannot. Allergies can only be caused by individual intolerance to lactose or cow’s milk protein.

How long can I eat yogurts prepared on VIVO starter cultures without a break?

You can eat them like a daily meal. No need to take breaks.

How much yogurt (Bifikid or any other fermented milk product) are children allowed to eat per day?

The following recommendations on the amount of yogurt used (or any other product) are for children under age 3:

  • From ages 2 to 3: 180-200 ml per one meal
  • For children aged 3 years and older and for adults, there are no restrictions on yogurt intake.

Learn more about VIVO products

CHOICE OF STARTER CULTURES

CHOICE OF STARTER CULTURES

Order VIVO starter cultures
with delivery across Canada
Сlick here
ABOUT STARTER CULTURES

ABOUT STARTER CULTURES

Learn more about the benefits
of living with VIVO starter cultures
Сlick here
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to the frequently
asked questions
Сlick here
Website of the VIVO Official Distributor in Canada
Customer Service Department phone 1-844-369-VIVO (8486)
Toll free in Canada and the USA.
Store Information:
855 Alness street, unit 7 Toronto, Ontario M3J 2X3
Tel. 1 (416) 228-8110
Email info@vivocultures.com