Probiotic bacteria strains – with added value
Consumers all over the world are demanding food products with added health benefits. Probiotics from Chr. Hansen are natural, safe and effective ingredients with documented health benefits, which can help food producers to supply just what the consumers want: Tasty food products with credible health benefits.
Probiotics – the friendly bacteria
Probiotics are living, health-promoting lactic acid bacteria that are present throughout the human intestinal tract and are essential to life.
Strain-specific health benefits
Probiotics are identified at three levels: genus, species and strain. It is important to know that the probiotic health effect is related to the strain, i.e. not all Bifidobacteria are probiotic, and not all Bifidobacteria animalis are probiotic. Only certain strains, BB-12® for example, which have been clinically documented to show health benefits, can be termed probiotic.
BB-12® – extensively documented efficacy and safety
The strain Bifidobacterium BB-12® is one of Chr. Hansen’s best clinically documented probiotic strains. BB-12® has been used since 1984 as an ingredient in food and dietary supplements worldwide. It has been tested in numerous clinical studies and has demonstrated health benefits within gastrointestinal health.
BB-12® has been used alone and in combination with other Chr. Hansen strains in over 200 studies to date, including human, in-vitro, and animal studies.
An example of a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study is shown below. The study involves 209 elderly living in a residential home, and compares the effect of BB-12® compared to a placebo.
Generally accepted definition of probiotics
Probiotic means “for life” in Latin. There is no legal definition of probiotics, however, prominent international bodies such as WHO and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) have published definitions of probiotics.
According to WHO, probiotics are live micro-organisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host.
According to ISAPP, a probiotic must:
- be alive when administered.
- have undergone controlled evaluation to document health benefits in the target host.
- be a taxonomically defined microbe or combination of microbes (genus, species and strain level).
- be safe for its intended use.
Chr. Hansen’s probiotics meet the WHO and ISAPP definitions.
Chr. Hansen’s science-based position
Clinical documentation is key and a probiotic bacterium is only as good as the science behind it. Adequate clinical documentation including double blind, placebo controlled, human studies are essential to ensure consumer credibility. Chr. Hansen is constantly working to provide a deeper understanding and further evidence for the specific health benefits of our probiotics. We welcome initiatives leading to stricter quality requirements for probiotics from regulatory bodies and industry associations and will continue to invest in consumer credibility and regulatory requirements.
Choosing the right probiotic strain is paramount, and so is ensuring adequate number of probiotic bacteria in your product at the end of shelf-life. The health benefit is related to the dosage and therefore an adequate number of cells must be present in the food product at the time of consumption.
Chr. Hansen’s NU-TRISH® range of probiotics is the natural choice for producers of tasty food products with credible health benefits.