Digestive health supplements have gained popularity in recent years, with probiotics valued at $46.5 billion in 2017 and expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% through 2023, according to Mordor Intelligence. Prebiotics are also picking up steam and emerging as a standalone category.
When combined, probiotics and prebiotics work together to improve gut health and modulate bacteria. The unification is known as synbiotics.
Move over probiotics
Synbiotics represent another rapidly growing digestive health product category, growing at a CAGR of 9.8% through 2023. According to Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) data, synbiotic supplement sales are projected to reach $8.8 billion in sales by 2020.
Despite the popularity, some researchers suggest they still have to study how synbiotics should be optimally formulated.
Natural ingredient company Synbiotic Health recently announced they signed a commercial agreement with NUtech Ventures, the nonprofit technology commercialization affiliate of the University of Nebraska, which grants the company worldwide exclusive rights to specially developed strains for use in formulating high-quality synergistic synbiotic products.
Tim Brummels, president and CEO of Synbiotic Health, told NutraIngredients-USA that Synbiotic Health will be developing license and sales agreements with innovative, leading nutrition brands who want science-backed synergistic synbiotic ingredients.
According to Symbiotic Health, a typical synbiotic is designed to deliver separate health benefits of its constituent probiotic and prebiotic. The new partnership will allow Synbiotic Health to formulate a new generation of products in which the probiotic microbe is selectively enriched and stimulated by the paired prebiotic substrate.
This licensing agreement is a result of research at the Nebraska Food for Health Center and University of Nebraska–Lincoln's department of food science and technology. The technology was developed by globally leading probiotic and prebiotic researchers, including Dr. Bob Hutkins and Dr. Andy Benson of the Nebraska Food for Health Center, animal scientist Dr. Tom Burkey, and Dr. Jens Walter from the University of Alberta.
"This agreement will allow Synbiotic Health to lead the way in developing and commercializing a unique type of nutritional ingredient," said Brummels. "This strong scientific foundation allows us to develop products with demonstrated synergy between the probiotic and the prebiotic. We are confident this will make the health effects more reliable, adding value for the consumer."
All eyes on 2020
Brummels told NutraIngredients that Synbiotic Health has completed a number of scientific studies demonstrating initial ingredient efficacy. He added that the company is in the process of a GRAS notification, with supporting human clinical studies set to be completed in 2020.
The company's clinical program will commence in early 2020, with the first product, targeting food & beverage and nutritional supplement manufacturers, set to launch in fall 2020.
Brummels told NutraIngredients-USA, “We are excited about Synergistic Synbiotics, including a leading role in scientific proof and efficacy while defining what synbiotics really are.”