The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made available a Small Entity Compliance Guide to help explain the actions a small entity must take to comply with recent changes made to Milk and Cream Products and Yogurt Products; Final Rule To Revoke the Standards for Lowfat Yogurt and Nonfat Yogurt and To Amend the Standard for Yogurt.

The final rule, which was published on June 11, 2021, and was modified on December 15, 2022 and April 14, 2023, amends and modernizes the standard of identity for yogurt by allowing for technological advances in yogurt production while preserving the basic nature and essential characteristics of yogurt.

The compliance guide is aimed at food manufacturers producing yogurt products for the U.S. market, in plain language and in a question-and-answer format, the provisions in the final rule. It includes answers to the following questions, among others:

  • What did FDA change for yogurt products?
  • How does the rule describe “yogurt?”    
  • What are the pH requirements for yogurt?
  • What are the requirements for milkfat and milk solids not fat?    
  • Are there different requirements for producing reduced fat, lowfat, or nonfat yogurt?
  • What sweeteners may be used in yogurt?

Manufacturers must begin complying with the rule for products labeled on or after January 1, 2024.