Data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) shows that approximately four million U.S. adults had used probiotics in the past 30 days. “Among adults, probiotics or prebiotics were the third most commonly used dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals, and the use of probiotics quadrupled between 2007 and 2012,” the National Institute of Health (NIH) reported.
In addition, the NIH said consumers are searching for probiotics and prebiotics in order to aid in a variety of health problems including digestive disorders, allergic disorders, oral health, liver disease, colic in infants and even the common cold.
State of the Market
The consumer demand for these products is growing rapidly, resulting from a combination of media exposure, industry marketing of the developing, favorable research and physician recommendations, said Nena Dockery, technical services manager, of Missouri-based Stratum Nutrition. “Probiotics are one segment of the dietary supplement industry for which the benefits are universally accepted by standard medicine, especially for use following antibiotic regimens.”
With the awareness of probiotics on the rise, consumer demand appears to be for safe, natural remedies which can help in the treatment and prevention of various diseases, said Dr. M. Ratna Sudha, managing director of India-based Unique Biotech Limited. Consumers are also demanding clinically proven, scientifically documented probiotic strains with the promised shelf life, he continued.
Probiotic foods and beverages are the dominant segments in the global market and are expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 6.8 percent from 2013 to 2018, Sudha said. In addition, the food and beverage segment of the probiotic market is estimated to reach $37.9 billion USD in 2018.
Growth has been augmented by several factors, Dockery said. These factors involve stability and shelf life, as well as the introduction of spore-forming bacterial species that can flourish under much wider environmental conditions.
Though [spore-forming] species are not normally indigenous to the human body, some do colonize in the gut and provide benefits to human health, said Dockery. “They are much more tolerable to variations in heat and moisture, making them better suited for inclusion in a diverse line of non-refrigerated food products.”
A stable, spore-forming probiotic like Bascillus coagulans Unique IS2, by Unique Biotech, is ideal for use in food products as its natural encapsulation makes it a hardy probiotic, capable of withstanding a wide range of temperatures and processes. It can withstand boiling, baking and freezing temperatures” and has a wide application in the food industry because of that, Sudha said.
BIO-CAT Microbials, based in Virginia, harnessed the natural spore state of the Bacillus organism, which is stable to a wide variety of environmental factors, in the company’s product OPTI-BIOME Bacillus subtilis MB40. The applications for OPTI-BIOME are numerous, said Chris Penet, vice president of BIO-CAT Microbials. Applications include powder drink mixes, baked goods, confection and dairy
“Our product has shown to be synergistic in the lab with other conventional probiotics, thus increasing the benefits from multi-strain products,” Penet said. Read More