Yoba Probiotic Food Today: 9 Countries | 1,000,000 Consumers
EMAIL US AT info@yoba4life.org

Research and Development

Research and Development

Research and Development

The research program of Yoba for Life is running in collaboration with a number of universities institutes and universities, including The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), VU University Amsterdam (VUA) in The Netherlands, Wageningen University and Research Center (WUR), PATH, Seattle, USA, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) and Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

The research program comprises of the following topics:

  1. Development of the Yoba starter culture and characterization of the Lactobacillus rhamnosus 2012 probiotic strain
  2. Development of novel fermented foods with the Yoba starter culture, including cereals and fruits.
  3. Reduction of aflatoxines by fermentation with the Yoba starter culture
  4. Health benefits of fermented products

Research Publications

A Comparative Interrupted Times Series on the Health Impact of Probiotic Yogurt Consumption Among School Children From Three to Six Years Old in Southwest Uganda

Nieke Westerik, Arinda Nelson, Alex Paul Wacoo, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort (2020)

Fermented foods in a global age: East meets West

Jyoti Prakash Tamang, Paul D. Cotter, Akihito Endo, Nam Soo Han, Remco Kort, Shao Quan Liu, Baltasar Mayo, Nieke Westerik and Robert Hutkins (2020)

Aflatoxins: Occurrence, Exposure, and Binding to Lactobacillus Species From the Gut Microbiota of Rural Ugandan Children

Alex Paul Wacoo, Prudence Atukunda, Grace Muhoozi, Martin Braster, Marijke Wagner, Tim van den Broek, Wilbert Sybesma, Ane Westerberg, Per Ole Iversen and Remco Kort (2020)

Naturally Fermented Milk From Northern Senegal: Bacterial Community Composition and Probiotic Enrichment With Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Megan Parker, Stephanie Zobrist, Chantal Donahue, Connor Edick, Kimberly Mansen, Mehdi Hassan Zade Nadjari, Margreet Heerikhuisen, Wilbert Sybesma, Douwe Molenaar, Abdoulaye Moussa Diallo, Peiman Milani and Remco Kort (2018)

Adopting traditional fermented foods as carriers for probiotics: the case of Obushera and Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba

Ivan Mukisa, Stellah Byakika, Rehema Meeme, Alex Paul Wacoo, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort (2019)

Probiotic Enrichment and Reduction of Aflatoxins in a Traditional African Maize-Based Fermented Food

Alex Paul Wacoo, Ivan Muzira Mukisa, Rehema Meeme, Stellah Byakika, Deborah Wendiro, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort (2019)

The Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus for Alleviation of Helicobacter pylori-Associated Gastric Pathology in East Africa

Nieke Westerik, Gregor Reid, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort R (2018)

Lactobacillus rhamnosus Probiotic Food as a Tool for Empowerment Across the Value Chain in Africa

Nieke Westerik, Remco Kort, Wilbert Sybesma and Gregor Reid (2018)

Naturally Fermented Milk from Northern Senegal: Bacterial Community Composition and Probiotic Enrichment with Lactobacillus rhamnosus

Megan Parker, Stephanie Zobrist, Chantal Donahue, Connor Edick, Kimberly Mansen, Mehdi Hassan Zade Nadjari, Margreet Heerikhuisen, Wilbert Sybesma, Douwe Molenaar, Abdoulaye Diallo, Peiman Milani and Remco Kort (2018)

Sustainable Food Processing Inspired by Nature

Sybesma W, Blank I, Lee YK. (2017)

Novel Production Protocol for Small-scale Manufacture of Probiotic Fermented Foods

Nieke Westerik, Alex Paul Wacoo, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort (2016)

Inactivation of bacterial pathogens in yoba mutandabota, a dairy product fermented with the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus yoba

Mpofu A, Linnemann AR, Nout MJ, Zwietering MH, Smid EJ, den Besten HM. (2016)

Harnessing microbiome and probiotic research in sub-Saharan Africa: recommendations from an African workshop

Reid G, Nduti N, Sybesma W, Kort R, Kollmann TR, Adam R, Boga H, Brown EM, Einerhand A, El-Nezami H, Gloor GB, Kavere II, Lindahl J, Manges A, Mamo W, Martin R, McMillan A, Obiero J, Ochieng’ PA, Onyango A, Rulisa S, Salminen E, Salminen S, Sije A, Swann JR, van Treuren W, Waweru D, Kemp SJ. (2014)

Empowering women through probiotic fermented food in East Africa

Gregor Reid, Wilbert Sybesma, William Matovu, Arnold Onyango, Nieke Westerik and Remco Kort (2020)

Bacterial community dynamics in lait caillé, a traditional product of spontaneous fermentation from Senegal

Anneloes Groenenboom, Megan Parker, Anne de Vries, Suzette de Groot, Stephanie Zobrist, Kimberly Mansen, Peiman Milani, Remco Kort, Eddy Smid and Sijmen Schoustra (2019)

Improving Health and Wealth by Introduction of an Affordable Bacterial Starter Culture for Probiotic Yoghurt Production in Uganda

Nieke Westerik, Alex Paul Wacoo , Esther Anyimo, William Matovu, Gregor Reid, Remco Kort and Wilbert Sybesma (2019)

Feasibility of A Novel On-Site Detection Method for Aflatoxin in Maize Flour from Markets and Selected Households in Kampala, Uganda

Alex Paul Wacoo, Deborah Wendiro, Sarah Nanyonga, Joseph Hawumba, Wilbert Sybesma and Remco Kort (2018)

Expanding the reach of probiotics through social enterprises.

Reid G, Kort R, Alvarez S, Bourdet-Sicard R, Benoit V, Cunningham M, Saulnier DM, van Hylckama Vlieg JET, Verstraelen H, Sybesma W. (2018)

Probiotic Fermented Foods: A scalable approach to promote gut health and improve nutrition

Peiman Milani, Megan Parker, Remco Kort and Wilbert Sybesma (2018)

Health benefits of fermented foods: microbiota and beyond

Marco ML, Heeney D, Binda S, Cifelli CJ, Cotter PD, Foligné B, Gänzle M, Kort R, Pasin G, Pihlanto A, Smid EJ and Hutkins R. (2016)

A novel consortium of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Streptococcus thermophilus for increased access to functional fermented foods

Kort R, Westerik N, Mariela Serrano L, Douillard FP, Gottstein W, Mukisa IM, Tuijn CJ, Basten L, Hafkamp B, Meijer WC, Teusink B, de Vos WM, Reid G, Sybesma W. (2015)

Locally sourced probiotics, the next opportunity for developing countries?

Sybesma W, Kort R, Lee YK. (2015)

Development of a locally sustainable functional food based on mutandabota, a traditional food in southern Africa

Mpofu A, Linnemann AR, Sybesma W, Kort R, Nout MJ, Smid EJ. (2014)

Probiotics for every body

Remco Kort and Wilbert Sybesma (2012)

Genome instability in Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

Sybesma W, Molenaar D, van IJcken W, Venema K, Kort R. (2013)

The DNA sequence of the Yoba probiotic strains

The sequence Read Archive used for the comparative genome analysis of the three product isolates and reference strain has been deposited at NCBI BioSample database, project number SRP017797

Genome sequencing data

Links to genome sequence data of L. rhamnosus yoba 2010, L. rhamnosus yoba 2012, one dairy product isolate containing L. rhamnosus GG and the reference strain, as carried out by use of the Breseq tool version 0.18 (3).

Description Source Species Strain Culture collection nr. Novel name SRA BioSample accession no.a HiSeq Data MiSeq Data Ref.
Reference LMG culture collection L. rhamnosus GG LMG 18243ATCC 53103

TNO 2012.097

SAMN01831559 link link
Product isolate 1 liquid dairy formula 1 L. rhamnosus GG LMG 25859TNO 2012.098 L. rhamnosus yoba2010 SAMN01831560 link link 1
Product isolate 2A liquid dairy formula 2A L. rhamnosus GG TNO 2010.113 SAMN01831561 link link
Product isolate 3 powder dairy formula 3 L. rhamnosus GG LMG 27229TNO 2012.094 L. rhamnosus yoba2012 SAMN01831562 link link 2

a The sequence Read Archive used for the comparative genome analysis of the three product isolates and reference strain has been deposited at NCBI BioSample database, project number SRP017797


  1. Kort R, and Sybesma W. 2012. Probiotics for every body. Trends Biotechnol. 30:613-615. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2012.09.002.
  2. Sybesma W, Molenaar D, van IJcken W, Venema K, and Kort R. 2013. Genome instability in Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Published ahead of print 25 January 2013. doi:10.1128/AEM.03566-12.
  3. Barrick JE, Yu DS, Yoon SH, Jeong H, Oh TK, Schneider D, Lenski RE, Kim JF. 2009. Genome evolution and adaptation in a long-term experiment with Escherichia coli. Nature. 461:1243-1247. doi: 10.1038/nature08480.