I've just started fermenting my own milk kefir. I found some how-to videos on youtube and sure enough, now I have a little microbial zoo growing on my kitchen counter. How cool is that? My kids are getting probiotic smoothies for breakfast. But today, looking for an explanatory link to send a friend who didn't know what kefir was, I came across this on Wikipedia:
"If the container is not light proof it should be stored in the dark to prevent degradation of vitamins and inhibition of the culture."
Degradation of the vitamins? None of the videos said anything about keeping it in the dark. Anyone heard of this? My kefir cultures just fine in a 24-30 hour period, out on the counter. I even stuck it in the sun today to speed things up a bit (successfully).
My gut reaction (ok, sorry for the pun) was that I'm doing the kefir for the probiotics and not the vitamins, so it doesn't matter. What do you think? Does light degrade vitamins in milk?
asked bygydle (5043)
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on March 07, 2012
at 06:45 PM
It is a good idea to keep any milk product out of the light.
UV light from sunlight or florescent indoor lighting will degrade vitamins in the milk such as vitamin C and riboflavin (B6) reducing their levels.
UV light will also cause some photo-oxidation of proteins and fats in the milk.
UV light can inhibit the growth of fermenting bacteria however kefir cultures are pretty robust so I doubt you would ever notice a difference.
None of these processes are going to harm your health but you might as well get the best nutrition you can from your milk and kefir. I would keep your kefir in the dark or in an opaque container. I would not recommend putting it in the sun.
Milk is intended to pass from the mother directly into the child and has not developed protection against sunlight.