History of Soy Yogurt, Soy Acidophilus Milk and Other Cultured Soymilks (1918-2012)

William Shurtleff, Akiko AoyagiISBN: 978-1-928914-47-1

Publication Date: 2012 Sept. 29

Number of References in Bibliography: 1372

Earliest Reference: 1918

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Brief chronology / timeline of soy yogurt, soy acidophilus milk, and other cultured soymilks.

There are two basic types of soy yogurt: fermented and non-fermented. The fermented type is usually made from soymilk in the same way as a typical dairy yogurt. The non-fermented type is usually made by blending silken tofu (sometimes with fruits and other ingredients) until it attains the smooth consistency of yogurt - but lacks the sourness.
      Soy yogurt also comes in both spoonable (typical) and drinkable consistencies.
1907 Sept. – The Yogurt Company (located in Battle Creek, Michigan) runs an ad titled “Yogurt: An Invaluable Remedy,” in Good Health magazine, founded and edited by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. The company is making and selling lactic acid dairy yogurt cultures. "Yogurt cures by driving out the disease-producing germs in the intestinal tract and substituting a harmless species instead. It is easily the most valuable remedy ever discovered for Intestinal Autointoxication.” A package of 4 dozen concentrated capsules sells for $1.00 postpaid. This is the beginning of probiotics in the United States, and Dr. Kellogg, a Seventh-day Adventist physician, is the pioneer.
      A 3-page article about the ad, titled “A remarkable discovery,” appears in Naturopath and Herald of Health (New York City). "This new ferment in concentrated form is furnished in this country under the name of 'Yogurt'" (Sept. 1908, p. 269-71).
1910 – The idea of making a yogurt from soymilk is first conceived of by Li Yu-ying, a remarkable Chinese scientist and soyfoods pioneer who in late 1910 or early 1911 started a soyfoods factory named Usine de la Caseo-Sojaine at Valles, Colombes (near Asnieres, Seine), on the northwest outskirts of Paris, France. In Dec. 1910 he applied for a British Patent titled "Vegetable milk and its derivatives." There he stated: "For the fermented milk, the special ferment termed 'sojabacille' is employed or other ferments used for obtaining fermented milks - kephir, yoghourt, koumiss, maya bulgare, and the like..." His patent (No. 30,275) was issued in 1912.
1911 June – The world’s earliest known commercial lactic fermented soymilk is made and sold by Usine de la Caseo-Sojaine northwest of Paris. It was developed by Li Yu-ying. But we cannot be sure exactly what kind of fermented soymilk product it was. Yogurt? Kefir? Koumiss? Nor do we know the actual French-language name of the product.
1912 Oct. – The world’s 2nd earliest known commercial lactic fermented soymilk is made and sold by the Solac Company (Synthetic Milk Syndicate), 221, Tottenham Court-road, London W., England. Also: Liverpool, England. The product is made by Goessel's patented method. "By introducing a lactic culture of a selective strain at a certain stage of its production, the necessary biological activity is given to the product” (Lancet 1912, Oct. 19, p. 1095; Lancet 1915, Dec. 4, p. 1263-64).
1921 – A Treatise on the Transformation of the Intestinal Flora with Special Reference to the Implantation of Bacillus acidophilus, by Leo F. Rettger and Harry A. Cheplin is published by Yale University Press (v + 135 p.). Rettger is a professor of bacteriology at Yale. This classic work shows that beneficial bacteria, such as Bacterium acidophilus, can be successfully established in the human intestine by oral administration. It also contains a good history of the subject. The excellent bibliography of 174 references shows that much of the research in this emerging field has been conducted in Germany.
1929 – Colombo Yogurt, America’s first commercial dairy yogurt, is made and sold in Andover, Massachusetts by Rose and Sarkis Colombosian, Armenian immigrants. But the U.S. yogurt industry remained small until the 1950s and 1960s when the health benefits of yogurt gained it a wider following. In 1993, Colombo Yogurt was purchased by General Mills.
1932 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, in his book How to Have Good Health Through Biologic Living, writes (p. 209-10): "Soy milk is of special value in helping to change the intestinal flora. A very superior quality of acidophilus milk may be prepared from it*." (Footnote: *"For information, address Battle Creek Diet Service, Battle Creek, Michigan."). This is the earliest document seen that mentions an “acidophilus milk” made from soy milk, or discusses Dr. Kellogg’s work with it.
1933 April 18 – An original breakfast menu shows that “soy milk” and “soy acidophilus” [cultured soymilk] are now served at the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. Only a vegetarian diet is offered there.
1933 April – Dr. J.H. Kellogg, in an editorial titled “The Mischievous Colon Bacillus” (Good Health, p. 16), writes: "There is but one remedy for this grave condition, that is, change of the protective flora by implanting the protective germ B. acidophilus which by nature is endowed with the power to suppress the harmful bacteria which invade the intestine. This is now easily accomplished by means of the newly discovered preparation, soy acidophilus milk. This is a culture of the bacillus acidophilus in soybean milk. It is found that the acidophilus grows with much greater vigor in soybean milk than in cow's milk; consequently soy acidophilus milk contains the protective germ in much greater numbers than does ordinary acidophilus milk [made from cow's milk]. Not only this, but the individual organisms are larger and much more vigorous. Laboratory researches have shown that soy milk is a better medium for growing the acidophilus than is cow’s milk.”
      This is the earliest document seen that contains the term “soy acidophilus milk.”
1933 June 14 – Dr. John Harvey Kellogg applies for a patent titled “Making acidophilus milk” (U.S. Patent No. 1,982,994). The product is prepared by inoculating sterilized soybean milk with Bacillus acidophilus and culturing the milk at about 100°F. About 2% lactose may be added to the milk. The "culture count in soy acidophilus milk far exceeds the count in cow acidophilus milk. Old cultures are rejuvenated immediately. The organism is thicker and grouped in longer strings. Persons who are sensitized against cow's milk may employ soy acidophilus milk without experiencing allergic symptoms. In cases of acute colitis, especially in children, when cow's milk must be avoided, soy acidophilus milk is of special service. Likewise in cases of extreme toxemia, when all animal proteins are harmful to the patient, soy acidophilus milk may be used as a source of protein." The patent was issued on 4 Dec. 1934.
      On 16 Nov. 1934 Dr. Kellogg applied for a British patent (No. 441,574) on the same subject; it was issued on 22 Jan. 1936.
1934 May 28 – The Dionne quintuplets are born in Callander, Ontario, Canada. The attending physician is Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe. They are the world’s first quintuplets known to survive their infancy. In about August 1934 one of the infants developed bowel trouble. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, learned of the problem and rushed a supply of his soy acidophilus milk to Dr. Dafoe. Very soon after the babies began taking the cultures, the bowel trouble disappeared and they all continued to thrive.
1934 Aug. – Theradophilus (A Pure Culture of Acidophilus Grown in Soy Bean Milk) is launched by Therapy Ltd., Pasadena, California (Los Angeles Times. 1934. Aug. 10. p. A7).
1935 March – The first article about the Dionne quintuplets and soy acidophilus milk appears in Good Health magazine, edited by Dr. Kellogg. The article, titled “The quintuplets are thriving on a biologic diet,” begins: "Dr. Dafoe, the highly intelligent physician who has charge of the famous Canadian quintuplets, is, fortunately for the babies and for science, a wide-awake medical man and is giving them the benefit of every resource of modern medical science which will promote their survival. The fact that they are alive today is probably due to Dr. Dafoe's sagacious recognition of the fact that because the babies were bottle-fed instead of being breast-fed, as babies normally are, they were not being properly inoculated with the protective bacteria with which babies are naturally inoculated in the act of nursing.
      "This was doubtless the cause of the attack of bowel trouble which occurred last summer in one of the babies, and which if it had not been checked, would probably have involved them all, and very likely sent them to the cemetery; but Dr. Dafoe recognized the situation and at once secured for the little ones a supply of protective acidophilus germs produced by artificial culture.”
      This is a famous event in the early history of probiotics.
1936 Jan. – Acidophilus Vetose (A Drinkable Soy Yogurt) is launched by Vetose Nutritional Laboratories, Pting Liang Road, Shanghai, China. The men behind this product are Dr. Harry Miller (a Seventh-day Adventist medical missionary) and his son Willis Miller (Raymond S. Moore. 1961. China Doctor. p. 182).
1936 March – Soy Acidophilus Milk is now being made commercially by Battle Creek Food Company (Battle Creek, Michigan) and (by April 1937) by the Home Milk Producers Association (the largest milk company in Miami, Florida). Dr. J.H. Kellogg is the developer of and creative force behind both of these commercial products (Good Health, April 1937, p. 122).
1940s early – Yami Yogurt culture is launched in the USA. “This culture is prepared by scientists in the world-famous Rosell Bacteriological Institute at the Trappist Monastery in Canada. You simply add the culture to ordinary raw or pasteurized milk and follow our A B C directions” (Ad in Life and Health, a Seventh-day Adventist magazine, March 1944, p. 29).
1953 – The term “probiotic” is coined in English (Oxford English Dictionary).
1955 ca. – Fearn Soya Foods, in an undated leaflet, coins the term “soy yogurt.”
1968 – Dannon adds fruits to plain yogurt and wins the hearts of a newly diet-conscious nation (Dukess, 2 Aug. 1981, New York Times).
1973 – The term “fermented soymilk” is coined by S.L. Kothari of India.
1974 Feb. – “Lactic acid fermentation of soybean milk,” by H.L. Wang, L. Kraidej, and C.W. Hesseltine of the Northern Regional Research Laboratory (Peoria, Illinois) published in the J. of Milk and Food Technology (p. 71-73). A very creative and important scientific article.
1974 Oct. – “Yay Soybeans!,” a highly creative little booklet published by The Farm (Summertown, Tennessee) contains a recipe for “Soy yogurt” – made with soymilk and starter from Chr. Hansen's Lab. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is the earliest known dated document that contains the term “soy yogurt.”
      Also this month The Farm starts making soy yogurt for its many hundreds of members.
1975 – The term “Soya yogurt” is coined by Thio Goan Loo of the Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
1976 – The term “soy yogurt” is again used in a clearly dated document, the book A Good Cook –Ten Talents, by Frank and Rosalie Hurd – both Seventh-day Adventists.
1977 – The world's first soy yogurt of which we can be sure is Soyogurt, developed and launched by Robert Brooks and Mary Pung of Swan Foods Corporation / The Soybeanery in Miami, Florida. This delicious fermented soymilk product is sold in plain, raspberry, strawberry, and peach flavors.
      With this product, the word “Soyogurt” is coined.
Other early American soy yogurts are Soy Yogurt (launched in March 1981 by Aqua Agra of Longwood, Florida), Soymilk Yogurt (April 1982, Current River Soy Products of Doniphan, Missouri), Soymilk Yogurt (April 1982, Trudy de Benedictus of Venice, California), Soy Yogurt (1982, Bountiful Bean Plant of Madison, Wisconsin), Yogo (May 1983, Bud Inc. of Baltimore, Maryland), Farm Soy Dairy Soy Yogurt (Oct. 1983, Farm Soy Dairy, Summertown, Tennessee; they have been making soy yogurt for The Farm community since Oct. 1974!), and Tofruit (Aug. 1984, Eastern Foods Corp., Minneapolis, Minnesota).
1979 – The term “cultured soymilk” is coined by Shurtleff & Aoyagi in Tofu & Soymilk Production.
1982 – The term “Soygurt” is coined by Shurtleff & Aoyagi in Soyfoods Industry: Directory and Databook, 2nd ed.
1985 Aug. – Europe's first modern soy yogurts are launched in 1985. The first of these to attract widespread attention is Sojasun, launched in Aug. 1985 by Laiteries Triballat of Noyal-sur-Vilaine, France. This fermented soymilk product comes in a host of tantalizing flavors including apricot-guava, raspberry-passion fruit, banana-orange, and exotic fruits.
      In Oct. 1988 the company began advertising the product heavily on French television. The slogan: "Sojasun, the first vital pleasure."
1985 Dec. – The first American soy yogurt to attract widespread mainstream attention is Jofu, a non-fermented product made from silken tofu by Tomsun Foods International (formerly New England Soy Dairy) of Greenfield, Massachusetts. Launched in seven flavors, it is partly the brainchild of Juan Metzger, a founder of Dannon Yogurt in 1942 and the chairman and president of Dannon until 1981. Metzger has been chairman of the Tomsun board since 1983. During Jofu's first year, Tomsun spent over $750,000 in advertising the product under the slogan "It's time to go beyond yogurt." Potential buyers: Those who dislike the sour taste of yogurt, are lactose intolerant, or are watching cholesterol or fat intake.
1986 mid-December - Tomsun nets about $3.5 million in its first public stock offering - money used largely to improve and market Jofu. By May 1987 Tomsun has orders for 25,000 cases of Jofu per week but could produce only about 12,000. It was too much too soon for the small plant. Hopes to raise additional capital were dashed by the U.S. stock market crash in Oct. 1987. On 8 April 1988 Tomsun filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act – a victim of Jofu's runaway success and of trying to expand too fast. The company never recovered.
1987 July – The United Kingdom has become Europe's largest market for soy yogurt, in large part because of the large number of vegetarians and vegans in that country. England's first soy yogurt is Sunrise Soya Milk "Live" Fruit Yoghurt, introduced in July 1987 by Michael Cole of Soya Health Foods Ltd. in Manchester.
      Other early British soy yogurts are Yoga (launched in 1986 by the Regular Tofu Co.), White Wave Soya Yogart (May 1987 by Unisoy Milk 'n' By-Products Ltd.), and Granose Soya Yogert (Sept. 1988 by Granose Foods Ltd.).
      As of 1994 the largest manufacturer of soy yogurts in the UK was Genice Foods Ltd., which started in April 1986 as a maker of soy ice creams. Genice develops and manufactures soy yogurts only for other companies; its first product was made in 1989, shortly after it joined the Haldane Foods Group. In 1990 Genice developed a unique process for making pasteurized yogurts that have a 4-month shelf life at room temperature. As of 1994 90% of Genice's business is soy yogurts and only 10% soy ice creams. Genice makes at least 90% of all soy yogurts sold in the UK, a market worth about $3 million a year.
      As of 1994 soy yogurt is probably the fastest growing soyfoods category in both the United States and Europe.
1987 March – Stir Fruity (non-fermented soy yogurt in many flavors) is introduced by Azumaya, Inc. of South San Francisco.
1990 Feb. – SoyaLatté is launched by Soyeh Natural, Inc. of Hayward, California. Woody Yeh’s organic soymilk, in 6 flavors, is made by the patented “Illinois process” in which the okara is not removed from the soymilk but instead is finely pulverized by high-pressure homogenization.
1990 April – Nancy's Cultured Soy (a non-dairy Yogurt-style treat) is introduced by Springfield Creamery Inc, of Eugene, Oregon, in four flavors. This is the first soy yogurt made with amazake.
1990s – According to Google Books Ngram Viewer, the words “probiotics” and “probiotic” first started to be fairly widely used in the early 1990s. Yet neither of these words appeared in the 1998 edition of Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
1991 May – “Dairyless” line of nonfermented soy yogurts introduced by White Wave of Boulder, Colorado. By 1994 it is fermented. By 1995 the product is supported by a large ad campaign with very artistic color ads using the theme “Yogurt without the moo.”
1994-1995 – Cuba, under the leadership of Alvaro Garcia Uriarte and Alberto Ortega, becomes the rising star among developing countries in the use of soyfoods. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, they construct about 34 “soy dairies” inside of inactive or partially cow dairies. Here, in 1995, they make 34 million liters of soy yogurt and soy yogurt drink for children ages 7-14.
1998 March – Silk: Dairyless Soy (Cultured Dessert) is launched by White Wave of Boulder, Colorado, in eleven flavors.
1998 June – WholeSoy & Co. launches its first soy yogurt, named Creamy Cultured Soy, in four flavors and two brands (Trader Joe’s and WholeSoy).
1999 Feb – Silk: Dairyless Soy (Cultured Dessert) is launched by White Wave of Boulder, Colorado, in a 32-ounce (1 quart) container, vanilla flavor.
1999 Nov. – SoyTreat, the earliest known non-dairy kefir, is introduced by Lifeway Foods, Inc., of Morton Grove, Illinois, in a 1 quart plastic bottle and seven flavors.
2001 March – Silk Cultured Soy is the new name for White Wave’s Silk Dairyless Soy. The product now comes in 12 flavors and is promoted as “The #1 Cultured Soy in America.”
2001 May – O’Soy (Cultured Organic Soy) is launched by Stonyfield Farm, Londonderry, New Hampshire, in a four-pack (4 x 6 oz.) carton and four flavors.
2002 March – WholeSoy Cultured Soy Drink (Drinkable Soy Yogurt) is introduced by WholeSoy Co. in 12 oz. plastic bottles and in 4 flavors.
2002 March – Wildwood Soyogurt (Cultured Soymilk) is launched by Wildwood Harvest Foods, Inc. of Watsonville, California, in five flavors and 6 oz. plastic cups.
2002 May – Dean Foods Co. acquires all of White Wave, making Dean Foods America’s largest soymilk manufacturer.
2004 July – Silk Live! (Soymilk & Fruit Smoothie with Live Cultures) introduced by White Wave of Boulder, Colorado, in four flavors and 10 oz. plastic bottles.
2012 – Governments in the United States, Canada and Europe are starting to restrict use of the words “probiotic and “probiotics.”
As of Sept. 2012 at least 174 commercial soy yogurts and other cultured soymilk products have been developed worldwide, including 83 in the USA and 58 in Europe.
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Click here to download the full text to open and read book History of Soy Yogurt, Soy Acidophilus Milk and Other Cultured Soymilks (1918-2012)