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Fortified Yogurt made by and for Families

Fortified yogurt could be locally customized, produced and distributed by and for families.

Photo of Avi Solomon
23 16

Written by

Fortified yogurt enhances maternal and child health. The yogurt can be produced and sold locally by families with the participation of the kids in the process. The fortification composition can be optimized for each locality.

Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Mothers and Children.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Have a family make yogurt.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

Any help is appreciated!

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.
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Attachments (3)

Manufacture and Quality of Iron-Fortified Yogurt.pdf

Manufacture and Quality of Iron-Fortified Yogurt


Perceptions about Probiotic Yogurt for Health and Nutrition in the Context of HIV/AIDS in Mwanza, Tanzania

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Join the conversation:

Photo of moshe boruhin

I think that the small scale production of yogurt you show in the DIY video requires more equipment than might be available for a poor family. The cooler, gas/electric stove (which gives of steady heat and enables good temperature control) and thermometer are elementary objects in the developed world but they might be hard to come by in poor third world homes.
In my opinion your idea can benefit greatly from using a maker/hacker community such as Instructables to come up with ways to build cheap and simple equipment.

Photo of Avi Solomon

I remember that the ITDG was working on low-cost yogurt production equipment:

Photo of Rupinder Dhillon

My mum incubates her yogurt by wrapping the container in 1 or 2 thick blankets. She then places that in a cupboard. The next day, there's yogurt - this works every time. My aunts (I have lots of them) also use this method successfully. It has been tested in the UK, where it's cold, and in California and India, where it's hot.

She also warms the milk in the microwave, rather than on the stove. But when she lived in India, the milk was heated over a fire. Nobody used a thermometer - they just knew when to stop. My family has been making their own yogurt for generations this way and no one has ever gotten sick. They've never used any special tools or boiled water - just a heat source, dairy, seed yogurt, container, and blanket. I wonder if the methods used by Indian families to make yogurt for dinner can be of any help. My parents grew up without electricity and modern tech, but they've always made their own yogurt safely.

Photo of Daniel Martinez da Cruz

Hey there team!

Its so interesting at how straight forward this is! Simple to make (once have equipment) relatively low cost and great outcome!

I am thinking, what would be the way in which you teach people how to do this? Would you teach one key person in community, and then they pass it on? Would you go and do group classes and tour round communities/cities/villages? Is there a way that you could create a kit maybe on how to do this process, so it has the instructions and all the equipment needed to make the yoghurt (apart from the milk and seed yogurt of course)?

I think this could be a great opportunity to collaborate too! If you want to come and take a look at my page, the team has come up with a concept called JAMBO! Its a service that utilises local peoples skills and abilities, we create educational books that teach the parents through a story, but the book and story is also entertaining for the children at the same time! Perhaps your recipe and the pack could be incorporated into one of our books? We want to provide some equipment with every book, for example, we have one to do with nutrition, and we provide some seeds with the book so the people can then go and plant what they have just read about, and know how to cook the end product effectively!

I really like your yogurt idea and I think it could be a great collaboration with JAMBO!


Photo of Barbara Nabbosa

Hello Avi, this is a great idea. Yogurt is a very good nutrition supplement. Was wondering how this program can work out for children that don't take milk or milk products. Its so common with the community am working with. Is there anyway you can substitute yogurt?

Photo of Avi Solomon

Yes, whatever works in the local context:) How about popsicles?

Photo of Barbara Nabbosa

May be

Photo of Rupinder Dhillon

You can actually yogurtify almost any dairy substitute - I'm guessing you're referring to lactose intolerance, Barbara? My mum makes her own yogurt using bacterial cultures from store-bought yogurt and all kinds of dairy substitutes. If you're working with communities that have access to dairy subs like soy or hemp milk (or others), you can still give them the yogurt experience.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Avi. Nice idea.
Is there a reason you chose Iron, Folate and Magnesium to fortify the yogurt with - as opposed to a multivitamin? Do you have a method to fortify it?

Photo of Avi Solomon

No, they were just illustrative examples. I've modified the text to reflect that.

Photo of André Fernandes

for developing countries, check the partnership between Grameen Bank and Danone in Bangladesh. the project, as I know, had a different scope as their intention was to produce and distribute in large scale, because low income consumers are sensitive to prices. if I'm not wrong, the project is struggling due to the fact that yogurt is noticed in Bangladesh as a fancy/western product. Pay attention to this psychological and social aspects regarding a certain product is also critical.

Photo of Avi Solomon

Yes, cultural localization and small scale production are critical for success:

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Avi.
Thinking and reading about Vitamin D Deficiency and the possibilities to tackle it with your idea. One major problem for children who are deficient is rickets and subsequent skeletal deformities.
In India this Vit Deficiency is HUGE!
"Vitamin D deficiency prevails in epidemic proportions all over the Indian subcontinent, with a prevalence of 70%–100% in the general population. In India, widely consumed food items such as dairy products are rarely fortified with vitamin D. Indian socioreligious and cultural practices do not facilitate adequate sun exposure, thereby negating potential benefits of plentiful sunshine. Consequently, subclinical vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in both urban and rural settings, and across all socioeconomic and geographic strata. Vitamin D deficiency is likely to play an important role in the very high prevalence of rickets, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer and infections such as tuberculosis in India." from: "Nutrients" Journal February 2014

Fortification of Foods with Vitamin D in India - From "Nutrients" Journal, June 2014 - See page 3617, 15. "A Do It Yourself Project" about fortifying food with Vit D at home in India

Photo of Avi Solomon

Thanks Bettina! Yes, each local area could customize the yogurt fortification according to its specific health needs. Vitamin D deficiency is also a major problem in the West BTW.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Avi. Yes I know it is a problem in the West as well. Lots of work and education to be done for the public and practitioners.

Photo of Yaowen

Hi, that's a good idea. Children can get more nutrition by eating yogurt. As you mentioned, yogurt can be produced and distributed locally, which I think it creates more job opportunities for the low-income community. But I have one concern because children are the main consumers, and their early years are so important, what should people do to make sure the yogurt is in good quality?

Photo of David Maeztu

Hi Avi,
in my opinion if we want to solve this problem we have to invest in parents and make them empower them. Parents have to stay alive for their children.
I think this idea could sucess because if it is good implemeted in the community the men and women are going to be able of developing theirselves. They are going to learn a job that can help their children and this is going to be a plus.
It is no useful if we help them if we are not involving them in the project and with this all the community will be.
We can create a cooperative formed by the village community, the products they would produce, could be consummed by the kids and also could be sold to others or export it.
There is a big chance of solving this problem if we invest in the good things.

Photo of Jian wu

hi, that is a good product for mothers and children, but i don't know the price of this product, is it can be affordable for low-income community ?

Photo of Avi Solomon


Photo of Jian wu

cool, thx


I think it could be a great idea. Apart from all the benefits would bring to children´s health, it would improve and encourage the local agriculture and animal breeding in order to produce the yogurt. Moreover it could led to create a sustainable feeding model, taking the best out of the resources they have.

As they have posted before, yogurt is easy to make. Anyway I see a problem when storing the product, it may be damaged in case there is no place for keeping it cool.

Photo of carilyn c

Cool... yogurt is easy to make and very healthful.

Photo of Uxue Barrenetxea

I would like to contribute giving some ideas to recycle the cups used to keep yogurt in a educational way.

My first idea is about making instruments with different packpages and combining them with the natural resources that they have in the country, such as, wood, animal skin, stones... developing their creativity and their capability to mix different kind of things to make new tools.

Secondly, to make visible a development in some biological proccesses. Children can be used to use packpages as a little homemade laboratories, putting on them different natural material and learning about their evolution during the time.