Why are probiotics so important when formulating foods & beverages?
From the early 2000s, probiotics have been the MVP in the nutritional arena. The funny thing is they have been around for centuries in fermented foods like yogurts, pickles, and sauerkraut. What has changed is we now have a better understanding of which bacteria provides health benefits and what these health benefits are for the consumer. Knowing this, we are now able to use probiotics in a wide range of applications including pet food, beverages, and dietary supplements.
Probiotics continue to be a part of healthy life choices. However, there are still mistaken beliefs around probiotics. At Protect® Probiotics we can highlight a few common myths and provide additional information that will help separate fact from fiction.
All Probiotics Are The Same. Wrong!
Before your team can understand probiotics, you should be familiar with the most common types of bacteria that are used.
There are many genera of bacteria that are used as probiotics. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Bacillus, and Enterococcus are four of the most common bacteria with recognized probiotic activity.
Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria are common vegetative bacteria. In their vegetative, or dry, form they tend to be less resistant to heat and moisture than spore-forming bacteria. But when handled correctly, they can be used in most applications. Furthermore, it is a myth that these bacteria are sensitive to the low pH in the stomach.
Bacillus remain viable under harsher conditions than vegetative bacteria. While this is true, it also means that the conditions needed for them to germinate must be exactly right, which can result in the spores traveling all the way through the digestive system, never being activated.
Enterococcus is one of the hardiest types of bacteria, allowing it to tolerate a variety of conditions and supports heat stability.
There is not a one size fits all solution when choosing vegetative bacteria or spore formers. There are times when one is a better choice than the other and times when it is appropriate to use both within the same formulation. Protect® Probiotics can help your team figure out the solution that is best for your product and application.
The Probiotic Blend And Application Matters
Protect® Probiotics have been studied in humans, pets, and industrial applications, and are backed by published strain-specific studies.
Protect® Probiotics will provide your team with the right strain or blends of strains for your specific application so that your team can optimize the benefits. In addition, Protect® Probiotics has encountered many companies that have tried to use probiotics in their processes only to find out that the heating, cooking, or extruding process destroys the probiotics. Protect® Probiotics manufactures a proprietary applicator that evenly applies probiotics to products, like pet kibble, beef jerky, nuts, and many other products and avoids these destructive processing steps. Protect® Probiotics manufactures, installs, and maintains this patented equipment and is the only probiotic manufacturer with this capability.
To Chill Or Not To Chill
Probiotics do not need to be refrigerated.
This is a myth that has been spread in marketing propaganda. Protect® Probiotics field studies demonstrate survivability at room temperature over the shelf life of the product. Your team may see brand advertising stating, “10x more survival than others!” These differences come more from the specific application rather than from the inherent differences between spore former and vegetative bacteria. The most important factors to consider are storage temperature, desired shelf life, moisture content of the product, and packaging. Protect® Probiotics takes all this into consideration and can develop a product to meet your team’s specific application.
Your Team Sees A Challenge. Protect® Probiotics Sees An Opportunity.
Probiotic formulation can be a challenge. Therefore, it is critical to select a partner that can provide a wide range of solutions for your team’s specific needs.
There is no single strain or blend that is appropriate for every application but there is a solution for your team’s application.
Make sure your team chooses a partner that will work to find a solution for your product and not make your team find a solution for their product.
How Much Is Too Much?
Many consumers think that the more probiotics a product has the better. This is not the case. The health benefits that probiotics provide have been documented in clinical studies. During these studies, a precise amount/dose of the probiotic is given to subjects and their response is measured. This measured amount becomes the recommended clinical dose and while consuming more is not necessarily harmful, it does add to the cost of the product for no increase in benefit.
While scientifically it is true that more is not always better, it is also true that some consumers will react positively to a product with higher probiotic content. When your customer demands more than clinically needed, our team can formulate blends that provide the minimum clinical dose as well as the additional amount for marketing claims at the lowest cost. This is the perfect scenario for a Protect® custom blend. Ultimately, specific claims need to be substantiated with clinical research that documents the strains and number of CFUs in the final formula.
Positive Impact On Your Customer
It is true that probiotics can have a positive impact on more than just digestive health. There is clinical research that has shown probiotics can have a positive impact in many areas of our and our pets’ lives. In addition to digestive benefits, probiotics can help with immunity, general well-being, cholesterol, weight management, performance, and many other areas. Therefore, it is critical to work with a partner that has a broad range of solutions, like Protect® Probiotics.
Whether it is a single strain or complex blend of prebiotics and probiotics Protect® Probiotics are a unique solution for your team.
Managing Safety Expectations
There are some misconceptions pertaining to Bacillus in manufacturing environments. However, Protect® Probiotics have worked successfully in these environments and managed these probiotic strains effectively.
Bacillus strains have been shown not to germinate unless the proper conditions are available. Bacillus strains are unlikely to germinate and grow under normal product processing.
Vegetative cells are easily removed from processing surfaces. Cell adhesion and the formation of biofilms are not inherent properties of Bacillus spores.
When formulating beverages with probiotics there are many possible solutions including special dosing caps and probiotic filled straws. But the least expensive solution is to formulate them directly into the beverage. Protect® Probiotics will help your team choose the right probiotic for your product.
With probiotics, the bacteria need to be continually replenished because they are transient organisms. What this means is they are present in our bodies for only a short period of time after consuming them.
The opportunity for product developers lies in integrating stable, efficacious probiotic strains and blends into products that customers enjoy every day. With the multitude of probiotic strains available, manufacturers should choose science-backed ingredients that can be efficiently formulated. A partner like Protect® Probiotics will help navigate this difficult to understand product category.
Protect® Probiotics can be formulated into almost any food or beverage. Protect® Probiotics are well-studied and safe for daily consumption. Research supports probiotic efficacy. So, customers can trust and feel good about consuming Protect® Probiotics daily.
Protect® Probiotics Will Make Your Job Easier
Choosing the right partner will make your product developer’s life a whole lot easier. It is imperative that your team choose a partner that has a wide range of product solutions that work in most application conditions, provides a list of health benefits, and looks to provide a solution for your product. Your team also wants a partner who will not ask you to formulate your product to meet their needs.
Protect® Probiotics allows your team to have a differentiated product from anything else on the market, while making minimal changes to your product and your manufacturing process.
Your customers want to stay healthy. Your customers do what they can to stay healthy. Your customers would like a simple way to stay healthy. And what better way to support your customers’ health than with Protect® Probiotics!