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rice milk yogurt

>Can you make yogurt from rice milk?  The protein level in "Rice Dreams"
>is low:  1 g/serving.  Does the bacteria use the protein or the
>carbohydrate?  Has anyone tried this?  Or have any thoughts?

Hi Mary!  

I'm not positive about this, but here are my thoughts as a microbiologist:

The bacteria in yogurt, mainly Lactobacillus and other lactic-acid formers,
use the lactose in milk as their carbon source.  They convert lactose to
lactic acid, which is what gives yogurt its "tanginess".  I'm pretty sure
rice milk doesn't contain any lactose, so I think the Lactobacillus
wouldn't even grow.  What would grow is another question . . . probably
something you wouldn't necessarily want to be eating.  

Again, this is just a microbiologist's take on it.  If anyone has made
yogurt from rice milk, please let us know!


Christine Ingle
Penn State University
Dept. of Veterinary Science
115 Henning Bldg.
University Park, PA  16802
(814) 863-8527