These are the milestones in the history of probiotics:
- 2001: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) introduce the definition of probiotics that is used today, “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”
- 1980s: The first probiotic yogurt is launched in Europe
- 1965: The term “probiotics” is coined and used for the first time
- 1935: The first commercial product with lactic acid bacteria is launched in Asia
- 1908: Ukrainian-born zoologist, microbiologist and Nobel laureate Élie Metchnikoff (1845-1916), argues that lactic acid bacteria may have various benefits and that it is possible “to modify the flora in our bodies and to replace the harmful microbes by useful microbes”1
- 1857: French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) discovers lactic acid bacteria
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1 E. Metchnikoff, Optimistic studies. New York: Putman’s Sons, 1908, 161–183