"Over 40 million Yakult products are consumed every day."
What's in a Yakult?
One bottle contains a minimum of 20 billion cells of the unique strain of bacteria discovered by scientist Dr Shirota. The strain is scientifically proven to reach the gut alive. There are absolutely no colourings whatsoever in Yakult. Its colour is a natural result of caramelisation during the production process.
Red or blue?
Today, there are two different types of Yakult available in the UK; the original version (in the red packaging) and Yakult Light (in the blue packaging). Yakult Light is enriched with vitamins D & E and contains less sugar – but other than that they are essentially the same – and, most importantly, both are guaranteed to contain at least 20 billion bacteria per bottle.
What's in a name?
When he developed Yakult back in 1935, scientist Dr Shirota was keen to choose a name that could be understood globally, and so chose the word 'Yakult' from the 'universal language' of Esperanto. The word actually means 'yoghurt' – but Yakult is not a yoghurt; it is a fermented skimmed milk drink. Both the company and the drink are called 'Yakult'.
But what exactly does 'L. casei Shirota' mean? The strain name is broken down as follows:
L. (genus): Made up of two Latin words: lacto meaning milk, and bacillus meaning small rod. Lactobacilli are small rod-shaped bacteria, often found in dairy products.
casei (species): Latin for 'cheese', reflecting the association of this species with fermented dairy products.
Shirota (strain): Named after Yakult's founder scientist Dr Shirota.