The product, to be marketed as ProBiomega, combines the probiotic Lactobacillus casei ATCC 3945 with omega-3 fish oil, the company’s vice president, research and development, James Komorowski, told NutraIngredientsUSA.com.
“This unique combination of a probiotic mixed in a fish oil protects the probiotic from moisture and air allowing it be significantly more stable (than comparable products),” he said. "So, not only will consumers obtain the digestive health and heart health benefit from the probiotic and omega-3 fish oil, but the combination also enhances the shelf life of the finished product."
In addition to enhanced shelf stability, the fish oil also enhances the probiotic’s activity in supporting digestive health, said Komorowski. “The fish oil acts as a prebiotic enhancing the viability of the probiotic,” he said.
The new product will also offer customers the convenience of combining two popular products, a probiotic and a fish oil, in one item. It will be available next year either as a soft or hard shell capsule.
Nutrition 21 said it had obtained an exclusive license for a patented combination from ProbioHealth, LLC and ProbioFerm, LLC.
Michael Zeher, president and CEO said: "This new product is the only product available that combines the benefits of a probiotic and omega-3 fish oil. We are very excited to enter the fast-growing probiotic market with this unique product formulation."
Last year, the US probiotic market was valued at more than $1.5bn. Most probiotics are currently marketed as foods, since sales of supplement capsules have been hampered by shelf life problems. Independent labs examining probiotic supplements have reported that 70 to 80 per cent of samples tested do not contain their label claims.
Omega-3 dietary supplements continue to be one of the largest and strongest sectors of the US supplement industry. US sales of probiotics have rapidly increased as major manufacturers have introduced new products, said the company.
Nutrition 21 says its newly acquired technology is suitable for companies looking for new product options to improve the shelf life of probiotics and those who want to expand their range of omega-3 products.