Many of the cheap supermarket Kefir brands are imported from Eastern Europe however there are a few supermarket brands that are manufactured in the UK, this mass produced Kefir is made using a freeze dried powder culture which is made in a laboratory, or using Kefir milk made from grains which has been diluted and freeze dried. The bacteria in the powdered cultures become active when added to milk and the Kefir can be made within 15 hours.
The amount of live and active bacteria in Kefir made from powdered cultures is approximately 1 Billion per 100ml. This amount of live bacteria is very similar to a yogurt, some yogurts can even have a slightly higher live bacteria count. Some Eastern European companies even use skimmed milk powder and water when making their culture which ultimately reduces the amount of live active bacteria even more.
The aim of Kefir is to improve your body and day to day life, in order to do this the live bacteria need to target the small instestine. It has been scientifically proven that active bacteria in powdered or capsule form do not survive beyond the stomach, therefore these Kefir products are unable to reach the target areas for improving your body.
Companies use freeze dried powdered cultures as they are much easier, quicker and cost effective to produce on a mass scale, the similarities to yogurt also make it more appealing to some consumers.