International Dairy Foods Association Relaunches Live and Active Cultures Seal for Yogurt and Cultured Dairy Product Makers

IDFA’s LAC Seal is the only widely recognized, independent verification of live and active yogurt cultures in the marketplace

WASHINGTON — To help consumers better identify yogurt, frozen yogurt, and other cultured dairy products containing live and active yogurt cultures, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is relaunching its Live & Active Cultures (LAC) Seal for manufacturers. IDFA’s LAC Seal is the only widely recognized, independent verification that a dairy product contains significant levels of live and active yogurt cultures. Recently, IDFA updated the policies and guidelines around use of the LAC Seal and is broadening the availability of the logo to the full yogurt and cultured dairy products industry.

“If your company manufactures yogurt or other cultured dairy products—such as frozen yogurt and kefir—and you are interested in using the LAC Seal on your products, IDFA is now making it easier than ever to obtain the seal for use on product packaging and labels, demonstrating to consumers and other customers that your products contain valuable live and active yogurt cultures,” said John Allan, IDFA vice president of regulatory affairs and administrator of the IDFA’s LAC Seal program. “The LAC Seal is the best way to reach consumers with this unique health and wellness attribute.”

The LAC Seal is a voluntary certification available to all manufacturers of yogurt and cultured dairy products whose products contain at least 100 million cultures per gram, which is 10 times higher than the minimum levels required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The LAC Seal can also be used for frozen yogurt that contains at least 10 million cultures per gram at the time of manufacture.

As the only dairy trade association representing America’s yogurt and cultured dairy product makers, IDFA understands consumers are demanding new and innovative health, wellness, and nutrition attributes in their food and beverage options. When it comes to yogurt and similar cultured dairy products, the words “live and active cultures” are persuasive. Two-thirds (67%) of those who have at least heard of live and active cultures believe that a product containing them is better for them, according to a 2021 survey of consumers by the International Food Information Council, or IFIC. 

Gut health and nutrition rank among the top drivers for consumers who purchase yogurt and similar cultured dairy products. According to the same IFIC survey, one in four consumers (25%) said digestive and gut health was their most desired benefit and 24% chose general health and wellness. Live and active cultures refer to the living organisms—in this case the bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus—that convert pasteurized milk into yogurt through fermentation. This fermentation process is what gives yogurt its unique taste, texture, and healthful attributes. Live and active cultures also help break down lactose in milk, assisting people who have trouble breaking down lactose so they can eat yogurt without digestive discomfort.

If your company is interested in applying for the LAC Seal, visit the IDFA homepage or today to learn more.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), Washington, D.C., represents the nation’s dairy manufacturing and marketing industry, which supports more than 3.2 million jobs that generate $49 billion in direct wages and $794 billion in overall economic impact. IDFA’s diverse membership ranges from multinational organizations to single-plant companies, from dairy companies and cooperatives to food retailers and suppliers, all on the cutting edge of innovation and sustainable business practices. Together, they represent most of the milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and cultured products, and dairy ingredients produced and marketed in the United States and sold throughout the world. Delicious, safe and nutritious, dairy foods offer unparalleled health and consumer benefits to people of all ages.