Probiotics Usage is Rising Among Food Processors


Probiotics Usage is Rising Among Food Processors

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Probiotics, you need them and you probably don’t even know it. Recent surveys among Food Manufacturers and Processors show that the use of probiotics is growing substantially, as many realize the immense health benefits of these ever-useful micro-organisms.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms thought to be beneficial to the host organism. According to the currently adopted definition, probiotics are: “Live microorganisms which when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host”. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and bifidobacteria are the most common types of microbes used as probiotics; but certain yeasts and bacilli may also be helpful. Probiotics are commonly consumed as part of fermented foods with specially added active live cultures; such as in yogurt, soy yogurt, or as dietary supplements.

At the start of the 20th century, probiotics were thought to beneficially affect the host by improving its intestinal microbial balance, thus inhibiting pathogens and toxin producing bacteria Today, specific health effects are being investigated and documented including alleviation of chronic intestinal inflammatory diseases,prevention and treatment of pathogen-induced diarrhea, urogenital infections, and atopic diseases.

To date, the European Food Safety Authority has rejected most claims that are made about probiotic products as being unproven.

Probiotics seem to boast a number of more recently discovered benefits such as helping ease celiac disease symptoms, battle yeast infections, and even counter obesity.

Probiotics, which were first really introduced into the North America consumer marketing agenda in the early 2000’s, are still essentially a newcomer to the dietary additive game, and many experts believe that with time, sales of this product will rise, as more and more consumers realize that this little ingredient could ease a number of their daily symptoms.

As probiotics gain momentum, food manufacturers and food processors will look for more ways to incorporate them into other foods. As of now, most processing has been limited to dairy products. A select few companies have been able to introduce probiotic products into some dry goods such as muffins, teas, soups, and protein bars. Experts believe that non-dairy probiotic products will continue to be the quickest growing portion of the probiotic food market.

 

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