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"Over 80 years of scientific experience."

That was then…

The scientist Dr Shirota, spent many years investigating microorganisms, in 1930 he succeeded in discovering a unique strain of lactic acid bacteria that was robust enough to survive through the intestines. He used this strain, now known as L. casei Shirota, to make a fermented milk drink – and so, in 1935, the first bottle of Yakult was produced!

This is now…

Fast forward over 80 years, and today over 40 million Yakult products are consumed every day in 40 countries and regions around the world. Yet our core product has changed very little – today’s Yakult still contains the very same L. casei Shirota strain that was discovered by the scientist Dr Shirota all those years ago. The Yakult Central Institute continues to conduct research regarding  this strain, alongside a Yakult research centre in Belgium and hundreds of independent researchers worldwide.


Working on a healthy society

Scientist Dr Shirota firmly believed that true health consists not just of physical fitness, but also requires good mental, social and cultural wellbeing – a view he expressed in Yakult’s corporate philosophy “We contribute to the health and happiness of people around the world through pursuit of excellence in life science in general and our research and experience in microorganisms in particular,” This philosophy shone through in the way that he set up the company, from the revolutionary Yakult Ladies system to a wide programme of corporate, cultural, academic and scientific sponsorships.

History in a bottle

Dr Shirota

After many years of painstaking research, scientist Dr Shirota succeeded in discovering a unique strain of bacteria, robust enough to survive in the intestines. He used this strain, L. casei Shirota, to make a fermented milk drink – and so, in 1935, the first bottle of Yakult was produced. Initially, Dr Shirota simply handed out his revolutionary new drink to the local public.


Becoming established

However, as word of the new product spread, demand surged – and in 1955, scientist Dr Shirota set up the Yakult Honsha Company in Japan. In that same year, he established the Yakult Central Institute which went on to continue this pioneering work, with scientists investigating the use of bacteria in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

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