Frozen cultures

Probiotic facts

Fermented foods have been consumed around the world for ages. However, the scientific discovery of lactic acid bacteria only dates back to the nineteenth century, with research into their potential beneficial effects taking off in the twentieth century and continuing today

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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E. Metchnikoff, Optimistic studies. New York: Putman’s Sons, 1908, 161–183

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