Making a LAB culture from Yakult


You’ve all probably seen my other posts on culturing Lactic Acid Bacteria or LAB (sorry, not your sort of LAB, Athena). We culture the little fellas for our Bokashi setup.

Can we culture LAB from bacteria
A curious Lab(rador)

Today I thought about trying a different approach…culturing the bacteria from Yakult.

For folks who don’t know, Yakult is a health drink made mostly from water and the Shirota strain of Lactic Acid Bacteria.

It’s very common and ridiculously cheap in Asia and not so common and equally ridiculously expensive here in Oz.

Now, I’m assuming that this experiment won’t work because the Yakult people probably sterilize or pasturize the final product. However, having some knowledge of how bacteria feed and incorporate DNA from their food source into themselves if that DNA is more efficient, I reckon it could still be worth a shot.

Plain milk
Plain milk

All I’ve done is get 2 clean jars, fill them with 200ml of milk and add 1 tablespoon of the culture to them. Then the jars are covered with cheesecloth and put next to each other on a warm shelf, out of direct sunlight

I’ll be looking for a super quick conization of the milk when compared to a control samples. This control sample is plain milk.

I would like to use a second control sample, that one being milk innoculated with LAB from a previous culture, but I don’t have any yet.

I’ve started culturing a separate LAB batch and, if there are any signs of success from this little experiment, I will do the three way comparison under sterile conditions later.

Edit: I should mention that we’re not trying to make Yakult. That’s a product with a long history and many stringent controls and checks during its manufacture.

This little experiment is just a test to see if we can culture LAB more easily than the other ways I try.

With our not perfectly sterile home environment we are open to contamination from other ‘wild’ strains and species other than the pure Shirota strain that comes from Yakult.

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