For its 100 years, Danone shares its greatest treasure

Celebrating 100 years since the creation of its first yogurt, Danone has opened its collection of 1,800 strains for research purposes. 193 lactic and bifidobacteria ferment strains, as well as 1,600 strains are made available for researchers around the world, with the sole aim of sharing our legacy for the benefit of all. While reinforcing our commitment to promoting open science, this move will also contribute to delivering on our 2030 Goals and the ongoing food revolution.

Furthering research into the role of ferments in gut and overall health

The first Danone yogurt was made in Barcelona in 1919 by Isaac Carasso, who was inspired by the immunologist Ilya Metchnikov’s research at the Institut Pasteur into the role of ferments in gut and overall health. Faced with the poor gut health affecting Barcelona’s children, Isaac was moved to act, and began selling his first yogurts fermented with lactic ferments in Barcelona’s pharmacies. Over the years, through research and innovation and collaboration with international researchers, Danone has built a ferment collection of high genetic diversity.

Lactic and bifidobacteria ferments – special bacteria which can, for example, be used to produce yogurts and fermented milks – may have a range of additional uses, for both food and non-food applications, many of which have not been explored to their fullest potential yet. They could potentially help address a series of health, societal and environmental challenges including:

  • Increasing the diversity of natural fermented food products, and developing higher value-added dairy products to secure a greater revenue stream for farmers;
  • Reducing crop and food losses, by preventing the growth of fungi, bacteria and viruses on crops, as well as on harvested and stored food;
  • Protecting and regenerating soil;
  • Mitigating methane emissions from cows;
  • Reducing antibiotic use and the spread of antibiotic resistance, in both animals and humans;
  • Developing easier methods to deliver drugs or vaccines to humans.

Promoting open science to create sustainable value for all

Speaking at a two-day event celebrating Danone’s 100 years in Barcelona, Danone’s Chairman & CEO Emmanuel Faber said:

“As part of our commitment to meet people’s needs, we have continuously invested over the past century to build Danone’s expertise in ferments, fermentation and health through food. At a time when our food system and society face a range of unprecedented challenges, we are proud to open our unique collection of strains to the world’s researchers to help us progress towards a healthier and more sustainable world.”