What you see: Your yogurt’s surface looks pitted, with tiny depressions.
What it is: Probably the remnants of some tiny bubbles generated during processing.
Eat or toss: Eat! As long as the yogurt otherwise looks, smells and tastes good, pitting on the yogurt’s surface likely does not indicate an increased risk of foodborne illness or decreased quality.
Is yogurt with little indentations on the surface OK to eat?
Previously we wrote about popped bubbles on the plastic seal of yogurt. Today we’re delving into a related issue: an oddly pitted yogurt surface.
Here again, Cornell University dairy specialist Nicole Martin says we’re probably seeing the remnants of something that didn’t go perfectly smoothly (har!) when the yogurt was moved from a production tank to the tub you purchased it in. Pumping and dispensing the yogurt can generate foam and bubbling. While just about anything that introduces air could lead to bubbles, you might think of it as similar to how a spigot on a coffee or water dispenser sputters when it gets to the last drops.
“This again looks like there was foam on top of the yogurt as it was filled and those bubbles popped as the product cooled and left those remnant marks on the surface,” Martin wrote in an email.
If the bubbles still make you nervous, consider that if any microbial action were occurring, you’d likely see other signs: the yogurt might smell or taste bad; the tub might be swollen and the yogurt might be fizzy.
On the moon, does some yogurt look like the surface of the Earth?