Digestion-aiding ingredients explore new categories

by Jeff Gelski
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Innovative formulating may allow ingredients known for digestive benefits to enter other food and beverage categories besides dairy. Recent studies have shown companies, when formulating such products, may have reason to target a specific demographic such as the elderly.

“Our general rule of thumb is, let’s put Ganeden BC30 in places that people want it and the products that people already consume,” said Mike Bush, senior vice-president of Ganeden Biotech, Inc., Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

People may consume GanedenBC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) probiotic strains in various products throughout the day, he said. They may sip a cup of tea in the morning, eat a nutrition bar in the afternoon and have yogurt as a snack later in the day. GanedenBC30 recently has entered the application formulas for Copper Moon French vanilla cappuccino, Post Foods Great Grains Digestive Blend cereal and Garden of Flavor’s cold-pressed, organic juices.

Chewing gum sales have slumped in the United States, but Mr. Bush said he has noticed functional chewing gums such as those designed to freshen breath, whiten teeth and provide energy. Might a company introduce a chewing gum that offers digestive benefits?

“We have lots of stability data,” Mr. Bush said. “We’ve manufactured different types of gum over the years. It’s a pretty easy application for us.”

Besides dairy, Howaru probiotics from DuPont Nutrition & Health have appeared in cereals, bars, juices, powdered beverages and confectionery items, said Scott Bush, vice-president of marketing, and based in Madison, Wis.

“It can be envisioned for Howaru probiotics to be delivered in chewing gum, though we have not yet investigated stability in this delivery format,” he said.

DuPont Nutrition & Health will feature a “Go-Greek Smoothie” with Howaru Bifido (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019) probiotics and Litesse polydextrose, a source of fiber, at SupplySide West Oct. 6-10 in Las Vegas.

Ganeden Biotech also will have a booth at SupplySide West.

“More than half the people that we talk to typically are interested in the digestive aspects of the probiotics,” Mike Bush said of that event.

Other people ask questions about immunity and the relationship between immunity and digestion.

“About 70-plus per cent of your immune cells and your immune responses occur in the gut,” Mike Bush said. “A healthy gut makes for a healthy immune system most of the time because they are just so directly related due to the fact most of the inflammatory and immune processes that go on happen in your gut.”

He added a recent study involving healthy seniors and digestion should be published either later this year or early next year. The University of Reading in the United Kingdom conducted the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over study, which demonstrated GanedenBC30 supports digestive and immune health in seniors.

DuPont Nutrition & Health and Miler Scientific Consulting, Inc., Arden, N.C., conducted a review that appeared on-line Aug. 7, 2013, in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. The analysis of 11 clinical trials with 13 treatment effects representing 464 people found short-term probiotic supplementation decreases intestinal transit time with consistently greater treatment effects identified in constipated or older adults and with certain probiotic strains.

Switzerland’s Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office this year gave approval for the marketing of the Howaru Bifidobacterium lactis HNO19 probiotic as supporting digestion by reducing transit time. There are no approved health claims for probiotic products in the United States, Scott Bush said.

“However, we work very closely with our customers to provide appropriate substantiation for structure/function claims, where the benefits provided by DuPont Nutrition & Health probiotic strains are communicated,” he said.

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