Durable probiotic expands reach across food categories

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Ingredient Probiotic

Ingredient manufacturer Ganeden Biotech claims its durable
probiotic ingredient is contributing to the development of a new
level of probiotic use in foods due to its flexibility.

Within the next six months, the company said there will be 12 product launches using its GanedenBC30 ingredient. These include cereal and soup, as well as bars and muffins, where the probiotic will actually be baked into the products rather than incorporated in a coating. Probiotics, which are healthy bacteria, have been traditionally difficult to incorporate into food and beverage products as they are sensitive to heat, humidity and other harsh conditions. This has meant that the ingredients have been largely limited to refrigerated foods. However, according to Ganeden's VP of business development Michael Bush, GanedenBC30 ingredient can be used in almost all types of foods and beverages. "Other than a shelf-stable beverage, it is virtually unlimited as to where you can put the bacteria,"​ he told NutraIngredients-USA.com. This is because the ingredient maintains viable cells even when processed using high pressure, high heat and cold conditions, he said. The reason for this durability is that GanedenBC30, a patented strain (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086),​ is a spore former, which means that the spore found in the probiotic cell survives harsh environments, even if the cell itself does not. The patented probiotic also claims to have a long shelf life (around two years), low use level and does not need to be refrigerated. In addition, it is said to be able to survive gastric acidity. According to Bush, the only limitation for the ingredient's use is in a shelf stable beverage application, because if this is stored above 30 degrees C the bacteria will start to grow, promoted by the high moisture level. GRAS ​GanedenBC30 is still a new ingredient on the food and beverage market - it only received GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status in December 2007. Bush said that although there are other spore former probiotics around, to his knowledge GanedenBC30 is the only one with GRAS determination. "There are not many spore formers that are suitable for human consumption, and that is probably why others haven't done this,"​ he said. The ingredient has been snapped up by food and beverage companies, and it generated high interest at the recent Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California, according to Bush. The company said it has 150 patents globally, both issued and pending, that protect its technology for using this probiotic strain. PLT partnership ​In January this year, Ganeden teamed up with PL Thomas (PLT) to expand the reach of its probiotuc ingredient in functional foods and beverages. "Until we were introduced to GanedenBC30, we did not believe that a probiotic could be a viable ingredient in mainstream, high volume foods and beverages because every strain we looked at was so fragile,"​ said PLT president Paul Flowerman at the time. The ingredient is a "revolutionary product",​ he said, adding that the partnership between Ganeden and PLT aims to make the probiotic an "industry standard".​ According to Ganeden, the partnership with PLT will allow the company to broaden the applications of its ingredient across the functional food and beverage sectors. PLT is not the only ingredient firm to have identified the potential in Ganeden's product. In November last year, Dutch firm DSM invested $12m in Ganeden, in an effort to cement its presence in the fast-evolving area of nutrition. Market​ The probiotic market has grown exponentially in the past few years in the US and is predicted to still have significant room to grow for those companies who can effectively communicate the benefits of the ingredient to consumers. The concept of friendly bacteria first gained foothold in Europe and has slowly made its way over to the US where, according to Euromonitor data, the probiotic spoonable yoghurt market alone went from $112m in 2001 to $294m in 2006.

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