Fermented Dairy Products

Fermented dairy products are a nutritious and delicious option that takes the health benefits of traditional dairy products one step further. The first fermented product that comes to mind is kefir. Yes, it is true kefir is a fermented milk product, but I would like to remind you that there is more to it. Let’s look at fermented milk products other than kefir and why they are important.

What is Fermented Milk?

The fermentation process is popularly known as fermentation. The process by which microorganisms convert the sugar in the food into different end products is called fermentation.

Microorganisms involved in fermentation can be bacteria, yeast, and fungi. Microorganisms involved in fermentation in dairy products are lactic acid bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria use the milk sugar lactose and turn it into lactic acid to form a final product. The formation processes of fermented milk products are brief as follows. Now let’s look at the types of fermented milk products.

What Are Fermented Dairy Products?

Yogurt: One of the most popular fermented milk products. It is a product obtained by fermenting milk with bacterial cultures at a certain temperature.

Kefir: Made with fermented milk, kefir is a probiotic-rich beverage. Kefir, which has a similar consistency to yogurt, supports digestion, strengthens the immune system, and helps relieve digestive discomfort.

Ayran: It is one of the indispensable drinks of Turkish cuisine. It is obtained by mixing fermented milk with salt and water. You can read our article about Ayran production in detail here.

Cheese: a dairy product obtained by fermenting and coagulating milk. In this process, the lactose in milk is converted to lactic acid by lactic acid-producing bacteria. Lactic acid coagulates milk proteins and creates the characteristic consistency of cheese.

Kumis: It is a traditional beverage widely consumed in Central Asia. The fermentation of horse milk obtains Kumis. Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus bacteria culture is added and left to ferment under certain ambient conditions. During fermentation, bacteria convert the lactose in milk to lactic acid, creating an acidic environment.

After addressing the answer to the question of which fermented milk products are, I would like to talk about the importance of these products.

Importance of Fermented Dairy Products

Studies have shown that fermented milk products have positive effects on health. For example, a lactose intolerant person may tolerate yogurt when they eat it.

The intestinal microflora is regulated with the regular consumption of fermented milk products. This is because fermented products have a probiotic effect. Probiotics protect the body against diseases by strengthening the immune system. Of course, to benefit from the probiotic bacteria in fermented milk products, the bacteria in the product must be in a certain number. However, regular consumption is also required.

I want to point out that the shelf life of foods increases with the fermentation event. At the same time, the nutritional value of the food increases.

As a result, including fermented milk products in our daily diet positively affects our health.


Karaçıl M. Ş., Tek Acar N., Fermented Products Produced in the World: Historical Process and Their Relationship with Health, Uludağ University Journal of Agriculture Faculty, 2013, 27(2):163-173.

Demirgül F., Sağdıç O., The Effect of Fermented Dairy Products on Human Health, European Journal of Science and Technology, Issue 13, P. 45-53, August 2018.

Akalın S., Nutrition and Health Effects of Cheese, Fundamentals of Cheese Science (Ed. Hayaloğlu A.A., Özer B.), Sidas Medya, İzmir, 2011.