Central Institute


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Central Institute

The Yakult Central Institute’s guiding principle is “the development of food, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics that utilize beneficial microorganisms and have biological regulatory functions, based on the concept of preventive medicine” with the aim of realizing the Yakult Group’s corporate philosophy of “We contribute to the health and happiness of people around the world through pursuit of excellence in life science in general and our research and experience in microorgan-isms in particular.”



Yakult Central Institute

Established:     April 1955 (as the Shirota Institute)

Location:     5-11 Izumi, Kunitachi-shi, Tokyo

Main research focus and fields:
Research into material development and applications for foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals that are useful in maintaining and promoting people’s health.

To support this, we specialize in microbiology, nutrition, physiology, immunology, biochemistry, biotechnology, organic

chemistry, fermentation engineering, natural products chemis-try, pharmacology, and analytical chemistry.


The Institute’s Buildings

Research Administration Building

This building is used by the General Affairs and Research Man-agement Department, which handles general administration for the entire institute. It houses the International Conference Hall, where research results can be announced to an international audience, and the Shirota Memorial Museum, which covers the life and research of our founder, Dr. Minoru Shirota.

Basic Research Building

Here, research is conducted to scientifically verify the relation between intestinal microbiota and health and the idea that “a healthy intestinal tract leads to a long life.” This is also where the seed cultures of the bacte-ria strains used for probiotic products are produced and bred.

Food Research Building

In this building, useful microorganism and functional food ingredients are sought out, their effectiveness is evaluated, and applied research based on bio-engi-neering technologies, including fermentation technolo-
gy using lactic acid bacteria, is conducted.

Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Research Building

Here, R&D of pharmaceutical products that are not handled by competitors, especially in the cancer field, and unique functional cosmetics utilizing effective microorganisms is conducted. This is also where the Analysis Center is located.

Quality and Technical Development Building

In addition to plant rooms used for technological devel-opment in food ingredient research, this building also houses the head office and quality assurance func-tions of Yakult Pharmaceutical Industry Co., Ltd, an affiliated company.