Efforts for developing analytical technology are coming from both the industry and FDA, Buffy Stahl, business development at DuPont Nutrition and Health, told NutraIngredients-USA at the IPA World Congress + Probiota Americas conference in San Francisco earlier this month.
“DuPont published a paper on species level identification of probiotics last year for 20 different species of probiotics,” she said, referring to a study published in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology. The company then surveyed 52 different probiotic products and were able to test whether or not the species on the label were in the product after it was formulated and on the market.
The Food and Drug Administration conducted a similar study to the one done by DuPont. “They were able to actually develop a methodology using whole genome sequencing in order to uncover those strain level differences between products,” she added.
What’s next for probiotic analysis?
“I think the next advancement in technology will come to support enumeration for probiotics testing,” Stahl said.
While there is ‘great technology’ for identifying probiotic strains using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and whole genome sequencing, Stahl argued that for now, there are not any recommended methods other than CFU or total cell count enumeration using standard microbiology technology.
On the horizon are new ways to enumerate probiotics. “Molecular-based tools are being developed to advance enumeration of probiotics,” she said.