Today we're comparing the main features of these two excellent starters.
The key question to ask yourself when comparing the Yogurt Plus and the L. Reuteri Superfood starters is whether you prefer a variety of beneficial probiotic bacteria that includes some L. reuteri, or a high concentration of L. reuteri only.
In a nutshell:
The Yogurt Plus starter is made of 5 select probiotic strains (S. thermophilus, L. delbrueckii, L. plantarum, L. reuteri, B. longum). It's fermented with a standard yogurt maker for approximately 8 hours, yielding a superb probiotic yogurt. No prebiotic fiber needed.
The L. Reuteri Superfood starter (the name on the pouch is 'LR Superfood Starter') contains a high concentration of L. reuteri bacteria only. It's fermented at 100 F for 36 hours (to let the L. reuteri proliferate over and over), and requires a device that has these settings. Prebiotic fiber is needed in every batch as food for the bacteria. The fermentation yields whopping counts of L. reuteri in the form of cultured dairy that is not technically a yogurt, and that often separates into solids and liquids as a natural outcome of long and active fermentation. This separation is very common and is mostly cosmetic. A separated batch is usually perfectly good and delicious. The whey (golden liquid) is highly nutritious.
Now for the nitty gritty:
* L. Retueri research
Here are a few more frequently asked questions:
Why do we ferment Yogurt Plus at standard yogurt-maker temperatures if it contains heat-sensitive L. reuteri? The standard yogurt-maker temperatures are necessary for the other bacteria in the Yogurt Plus starter. While slightly higher than ideal for L. reuteri, these temperatures are still within survivability range for L. reuteri, given the short fermentation time (only 8 hours, compared to 36 hours). If you have the option, set the temperature not higher than 106 F. If not, use the standard yogurt-maker settings. Your yogurt will be fine.
Why do we ferment Yogurt Plus for only eight hours if it contains L. reuteri, which should be fermented for 36 hours? Eight hours is the optimal duration for the other four bacteria species in the Yogurt Plus starter. (L. reuteri is one of five bacteria species that make up the Yogurt Plus starter.) L. reuteri certainly ferments and multiplies in eight hours, just not to the spectacular counts that a 36-hour fermentation would yield. Eight hours is already longer than many store-bought yogurts, which are typically fermented for only a couple of hours. Yogurt Plus is a premium 'all-purpose' probiotic yogurt, yielding decent quantities of L. reuteri in the final product along with the other four strains. If you specifically want a very high count of only L. reuteri, with no other strains at all, go for the L. Reuteri Superfood starter.
Can these two starters be fermented together in the same jar? No, these are two different starters for two different products. Of course, you are welcome to purchase both starters, but you'll need to make them separately, because they are two different products.