The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the availability of a Small Entity Compliance Guide (SECG) 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 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 SECG is aimed at food manufacturers producing yogurt products for the U.S. market and restates, in plain language and in a question-and-answer format, the provisions in the final rule. It includes the following questions, among others:

  • What did we 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 you use in yogurt?
Manufacturers must begin complying with the rule for products labeled on or after January 1, 2024.