Many people have probably asked countless of times why Yakult did not launch a much bigger variant, but it turns out, the Japanese company had the perfect reason why they never released one.
According to Philippines’ news network ABS-CBN, the Japanese company had decided to only release 65 milliliter (2.1 ounce) and 100 milliliter (3.3 ounce) bottles to minimize the potential contamination of the probiotic bacteria (Lactobacillus paracasei Shirota) in the drink.
Yakult Malaysia, in its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, explains there are 30 million live Yakult bacteria inside every small bottle of the popular milk drink. The probiotic is not supposed to be consumed as a “thirst quencher,” the company says.
“Smaller bottle is more hygienic,” the Yakult Malaysia FAQ reads. “A larger bottle that is not finished might be kept open, thus has a bigger risk of infection with other bacteria.”
Yakult Australia echoed the same explanation in why the company only sells Yakult in small bottles.
“Opening and closing a larger bottle on numerous occasions can result in a decrease in the number of live probiotic bacteria due to the introduction of various air-borne bacteria,” the Australia-based company said. “This is undesirable because bacteria have the potential to compromise the quality of Yakult.”
There is also the issue of consuming more than what’s necessary as a small bottle of the milk drink is more than enough to keep something healthy.
“If Yakult were provided in a larger bottle, people may drink more than needed, and while this is not harmful at all, it can be more expensive,” Yakult Australia added.
Although Yakult is widely known as a healthy milk drink, as it claims to help prevent digestive disorders, such as diarrhea and constipation and help build immunity and reduce risk of infections, there are some who believe it still has potential negative effects on the body.
One concern in particular is the bottle that the company has been using. According to Yakult’s website, cited by health coach Alex Fergus’ blog, the plastic bottles are “produced on-site from triple food grade polystyrene pellets using injection blow-molding machines.”
Plastics are known to leech into the food and may potentially have a negative impact on the body or “disrupt our endocrine system, impact our hormonal and reproductive systems and have even been linked to cancer and neurological damage,” Fergus’ blog says.