The Truth about Yakult


My mother. She lied to me! When I was a wee calf, she told me that drinking more than one bottle of Yakult in a day was bad for me. I believed her and stuck to one bottle a day. See? I was a good little cowlet.

Yakult01

I grew up with Yakult. Did you?

Arriving at the Yakult factory in Laguna, I was quick to ask our tour guide Ms. Bella (no relation to Edward) whether it was true. “No,” she replied. In fact, they drink Yakult by the GLASSFUL there. *gasp* Yakult by the glass? What sort of evil was this?! How many more lies have I been told? It was time to learn the truth about Yakult.

1. Yakult’s bacteria? They’re expats. While manufacturing the actual drink happens in the plant in Laguna, the actual bacteria (Lactobacillus Casei Shirota strain) are propagated in Japan. They’re freeze-dried then shipped here, where they’re gently reanimated into the culture starter.

Yakult02

The Mother of All Yakult aka the Culture Starter.
Lolo and Lola Lactobacilli are probably here.

2. Actually, so is the milk. Yakult uses milk imported from Australia and other milk producing countries. So, if you hear your Yakult bottle go, “G’day mate! Konnichiwa!” at you, you’re not imagining things. (Well, maybe you are.)

3. Yakult’s single-serve sizes are designed for economy. While it varies per country (80ml in the Philippines, 65ml in Australia and 100ml in Japan), it approximates an economical single serve. This mirrors Dr. Minoru Shirota’s vision of making Yakult available to everyone as he believes that good health must be available to all. On a sidenote, Singapore has to be one of the luckier countries in the world. They have the option to buy Flavored Yakult!

Yakult03

Your basic Yakult recipe: skimmed milk powder, sugar, glucose and the viable bacteria culture

4. Aside from keeping costs down, Yakult’s single-serve sizes are also practical. It lessens the chances of contamination as you ingest the serving in one time. With large family sizes, the amount that isn’t finished can be contaminated by other bacteria, causing death to our friendly Lactobacilli which in turn, kills the efficacy of Yakult. You wouldn’t want to kill our widdle friends, do we? At least until we drink them up?

Yakult04

Kamosuzo! Don’t keel us, we’re your friends!
Friendly bacteria from the anime Moyashimon

5. Manufacturing Yakult is super sensitive. That’s why cleanliness and safety are serious business at the plant. One wrong, sloppy move can contaminate the whole batch. When they test the cultured milk in the tanks, it’s all done under fire to prevent cross-contamination. Come on, sing with me now, *falsettos* “Through the fire~~~”

Yakult05

I hate killing fairies but Yakult is not magic! It comes from a factory.

6. Because of its sensitivity, Yakult packaging is made with all virgin material, in a super clean process and environment. The bottles are made in the Philippines, while the foil caps are imported from Korea and Japan. Fortunately, while the process uses new material all the time, the discarded bottles are fully recyclable. Both the plastic and foil can be re-appropriated for manufacturing other things.

7. Remember those Yakult Ladies in the old commercials from the 80s? *sings* “Iyan ang diwa ng Yakult~~~” Apparently, they’re found everywhere in the world! They even have International Conventions in Tokyo, just for the top selling Yakult Ladies. Imagine, getting sent to Japan for selling Yakult. *wonders if she can pull off the Yakult lady uniform*

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Photo opp with the other bloggers on the factory field trip.
Imagine a Yakult bottle this big? I can’t wait to get started with it.

8. All the Yakult in the Philippines comes from their factory in Calamba. From a mere 11,500 daily production in the 70s, they now produce 1.6 million bottles a day, which will be upgraded to 2 million bottles once the factory expansion is done. If each bottle has 8 billion Lactobacilli, imagine how many of the little critters are released into the world on a daily basis. ASTOUNDING. They can take over the world, if only they weren’t microscopic. And maybe if they were sentient. And had brains. But if they were, they wouldn’t be living in cultured milk, would they?

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Remember, you can have more than 1!

Eight bits of trivia, eight billion bacteria. It fits! So, next time you peel open a bottle of Yakult, don’t forget to utter a few words of thanks for the eight billion little critters who live to help fix your intestines. Arigato~

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45 Responses to The Truth about Yakult

  1. gita says:

    i have not been a regular drinker of yakult. but after you post, i think ill start drinking na. to good health, and beyond! 😉

  2. wistandnuts says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, I love Yakult! Noong bata pa ako, inuubos ko limang piraso sa isang araw hahahaha. Kaya lang sobrang mahal ng Yakult dito sa UAE, every 2 months na lang kami bumibili. We found an alternate, Lacnor yung brand nya.

  3. Kate says:

    i am a big fan of yakult!!! loved this post :)

  4. jemps says:

    vunderphoole post, kweesee! now i know i can have more than one :9

  5. jeanpomelo says:

    Galing! Right before I saw your post about Yakult, I drank a bottle of it. Haha 😀 I wish the Pinoy Yakult bottle were a bit larger. Sarap kasi e. 😉

  6. I love Yakult — and the Yakult ladies! I seem to remember having field trips to the Yakult plant when we were younger.

  7. have you tried this evilness known as “lemon yakult tea”? >:D

    deliciousness and evil in the same bottle — perfection!!!

  8. Kat says:

    Ako naman nalungkot bigla. As much as I love it, I have to stop drinking Yakult. Too much of it makes me dizzy. Wah. Doubly sad kasi I want to try that Yakult drink at Happy Lemon. :(

  9. Sefie says:

    I knew we were being cheated in Australia! Not only do we only get one flavour, but we get the smallest serving size! I really miss the green apple flavoured Yakult, it was extra tangy :)

  10. Kaye Catral says:

    I wanna go to that factory, too! I love Yakult! And yes, no need to take out the small bottles from the shrink wrap, just get a straw, stick it through and drink all five in one sitting. Ah!

    Hmmm… heading to the next door grocery now to get a batch.

  11. Trev says:

    Moms and pediatricians advise only 1 bottle a day for children because Yakult has high sugar content… and we all know the effect of sugar on children.

  12. Ichiro Ino says:

    I am eternally grateful to this post!

  13. kaoko says:

    @Gits
    And to nyumnyums too! *toasts*

    @wits
    Buti ka pa! Sakin talaga bawal. :( Nasanay na tuloy akong paisa-isa lang.

    @Kate
    Thankies! We should for a Yakult Fan Club.

    @jemps
    And when Jack is all grown up, he can have more than one too! 😛

    @jeanpomelo
    The Singaporean 100ml is perfect, me thinks. I’ve gotten too used to the small bottles that I don’t think I can manage a 200ml size. Swak lang yung may 1 extra lagok 😛

    @Chris
    Buti ka pa! We never went to the Yakult plant. I remember visiting the milk plant thingie at Los Banos but never Yakult. Kaya it was a first time field trip for me, heehee.

    @Rotch
    You beach. Is that at Happy Lemon? Too far! Should we make a field trip out of it? Much as I love Serenitea, I don’t like their Green Apple Yakult. It curdles! Eeeew.

    @Kat
    Mebbe you can share with a friend? Taste lang then stop. I’ve been hearing good things about Happy Lemon so I want to try it too, but Greenhills is so out of the way for me.

    @Sefie
    We get just one flavor too. :( But then, getting the smallest might not be too bad a thing. At least you have an excuse for drinking more than one.

    @Kaye Catral
    Hahahahaha, I have a friend who has a friend who drinks it the same way! She just pokes the straw through the caps. Poke, sip, pull. Poke, sip, pull. So on! I want to try that sometime.

    @Trev
    That actually makes sense, especially for kids. Too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing for tiny tummies. Plus, it’ll give mommy a headache, having hyperactive little kiddies bouncing around.

    @Ichiro
    Glad to help! Let me guess, you were told about the one bottle limit too?

  14. Eileen says:

    Been a yakult drinker since the 80s. Was told the same lie by my Lola. I wanted to drink more but she told me that taking more than one bottle was bad for my health. Thanks for the post it was a fun read for me :)

  15. Cecile says:

    i love yakult! i grew up drinking it :) even my kids love yakult:)

  16. fiona says:

    i enjoyed reading dis post. tnx for posting dis.

  17. entrepgirl says:

    i’ve tried the flavored ones in singapore, super yummy!! and in bigger bottles too! wish they’d sell those in manila too! :)

  18. jayvee f. says:

    Yakult is also good for dogs. When my dog has an upset stomach, one bottle into his drink makes him feel so much better =)

  19. kaoko says:

    @Eileen
    A generation duped by our parents and grandparents! 😛

    @Cecile
    It’s all in the family, eh? :)

    @fiona
    You’re welcome!

    @entrepgirl
    Sana nga! That’s why I make it a point to buy Yakult whenever I’m in SG. Minsan minsan lang e.

    @jayvee
    Really? We should take note of that. Had no idea it was good for pets too.

  20. Lea says:

    :( Oh so sad, I live in Southeastern America and have never tasted Yakult. Where can I find this delightful drink full of gut friendly critters ?

  21. K says:

    Love love love love love this post! I can drink 5 bottles a day. My hubby who stayed in japan pours it on a pitcher! (around 3 packs) and drinks it all up

    my cousins all have yakult stored in their ref..

    I think all pinoys love yakult no? rich or poor young or old

    😉 😉

    did you know it’s also a cure for acne?

    haha made a post here
    http://whenchichitsthepan.blogspot.com/2010/02/diy-yakult-mask.html

  22. kaoko says:

    @Lea
    Wikipedia says it gets sold in the US. Perhaps your local Asian grocery?

    @K
    It seems that there’s a neverending list of uses for Yakult! I was told they have a beauty product line in Japan, too!

  23. ester says:

    my family are all yakult drinkers except me but after reading this post i will start drinking yakult …

    • kaoko says:

      I can imagine two things happening. Either you can bond together over the mutual love for Yakult, or the rest of your family will be saddened because if you start drinking Yakult, too, there will be less for them, hehe.

  24. Jeb says:

    Very informative! thank you for posting :) <3 Yakult

  25. devs says:

    ung yakult sa thailand, msarap at affordable… 1 Liter ang size…hehe mga 60 pesos to 70 ata un pag kinonvert.. s lhat ng 7-11 stores nila dun, mern nun..hehehe

  26. Skinbubbles says:

    So happy to read this post. I always thought that I can only drink 1 bottle a day which explains their small packaging. Yun pala, dahil mahal. Glad to know this as I drunk 2 bottles with ice the other day. Deadma na Kung anong maramdaman ko basta may tummy is happy. Thanks! Found your site informative. <3

  27. Louie Ponce says:

    NEVER trust a product with no Contact Details (Customer Service) on their package, particularly Yakult (Philippines). Poor QA and poor customer relations.

  28. kaoko says:

    Hi Louie,
    I understand your frustration, however this isn’t the right venue for your complaints since there’s nothing I can do about it. If you can’t contact Yakult (sorry, I don’t have their contact info anymore), you may want to address your complaints to the appropriate government agency. Good luck and I hope your problem gets resolved.

    • Louie Ponce says:

      Thanks for the advise kaoko! I just want to post it since there are a lot of nice comments about Yakult and I want to balance things up since I experienced something that a loyal consumer like you need to know also. Yakult-Philippines doesn’t provide straws so anything foreign in the drinking lid is a compromise to the quality of the product. Anyway, I did submit my complaint to them but I would not apologize for posting my comments earlier since your blog is read by the public. Should you wish to receive all nice comments about the product you are advertising, you might as well make this post private and share it only to your close friends. Thanks and have a great day!

  29. I missed yakult, I’m in Saudi Arabia. I always make sure to drink one or two whenever I’m in Manila.

  30. i really really dont like your product
    i hope your product will be ban

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  32. Emzi says:

    What a cutely written post! I especially like the side comments! I can squeeze it! Oh and very informative. I want flavored Yakult too!

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