The term ‘functional foods’ refers to a wide range of products, some of which are designed around a specific ‘functional’ ingredient, such as probiotics, prebiotics, or plant stanols and sterols. Aside from the ostensibly more performance-oriented benefits, such items are of particular appeal to consumers wishing to add health benefits to their meals. With the growing health trend providing manufacturers with more options to extend their product lines, now is the time for food producers to think about adding additional functionality to their products. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
The focus should be on producing goods that are compatible with broader lifestyle and wellness trends. Brands don’t have to outright declare that their products are healthy; instead, they should look for ways to include this information more naturally. Manufacturers must incorporate functional benefits in a more holistic manner, given the broad and growing popularity of health and wellness in consumers’ product selections. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
The wide range of features available gives manufacturers with a diversified range of chances to grow their product ranges, and the constant rise of health-conscious consumers means that now is the time to get in on the ground floor for such offerings. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
What’s the difference between prebiotics and probiotics, and what can they do for you?
Prebiotics and probiotics are very distinct, despite the fact that they seem similar and work in a similar way. Both, on the other hand, have significant health and nutritional benefits that should be taken into account when developing new products. Prebiotics have been defined in a way that has evolved over time, according to the 2015 paper ‘Prebiotics: why definitions matter,’ in part due to a conflict between the term’s origin in chemistry literature and its origin in medical and nutritional literature, and in part due to the expanding nature of discovery over time.
The original 1995 introduction of the concept, which defined prebiotics as “a nondigestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health,” provides a good foundation for understanding the potential benefits and application. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
Probiotics, on the other hand, are likely to be more familiar to both customers and manufacturers, given their widespread promotion in yoghurts like Activia and others.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are intended to offer health advantages, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. In particular, a 2001 dialogue between the US Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization utilized the more expansive definition of ‘live microorganisms that impart a health advantage on the host when administered in suitable proportions’ (this definition was upheld in 2013 by the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics). Although it is generally agreed that probiotics are safe for intake and there is some clinical evidence to suggest they can help with specific digestion-related medical disorders, the difference illustrates the ongoing dispute over their usefulness and how they should be regulated. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
There are valid concerns about the efficacy of both probiotics and prebiotics, as well as how they are currently regulated (mostly around the extent of health claims). However, considering that their safety has only been questioned in extremely rare cases and that there is evidence to suggest that they may have health benefits, they constitute a credible field for further development. In particular, the potential benefits of’synbiotic’ products that combine both pre and probiotic ingredients should be studied. Producers must be aware of the differences and how these two components interact, but with the right information, these markets have a lot of space for growth. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
Despite cautionary notes, probiotics have a bright future.
The global probiotics market is expected to reach $66.04 billion by 2024, according to ReportBuyer (this forecast includes animal feed probiotics in addition to human dietary supplements and food & drink products). According to the analysis, probiotic-enhanced food and drink products will fuel increase in the human population. Dairy items account for the majority of sales in this area, with yoghurt and yoghurt-based beverages being the most popular. This could be a barrier for producers trying to expand beyond the dairy sector, but it could also lure customers looking to broaden their horizons. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
There are, however, some key cautionary cautions to keep in mind. Although there is some evidence that probiotics may be beneficial for certain medical conditions, there is also a scarcity of evidence to back up many of the health claims made by manufacturers. Dannon Company Inc. settled deceptive advertising charges with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010 and dropped claims that the FTC claimed exaggerated the health benefits of its Activia and DanActive products. Furthermore, according to recent reporting by the New York Times, probiotics may have a number of risks that have been overlooked in the rush to market them as the next health craze. probioticseverything.comprobiotic under microscope
Leaving aside the hazards to immune-compromised people, the Times’ analysis shows that not only are the health claims made by probiotic products dubious and often limited in scope, but they may also be sliding under regulatory monitoring. Probiotic research, for example, will almost always employ extremely particular strains and samples will be pure, while probiotic food products will not have this assurance. probioticseverything.com
Consumers are drawn to probiotic food products because of the health claims associated with them, but those claims cannot be assumed to apply to all probiotic products, even if they are accurate for specific strains in specific cases. While consumers with healthy immune systems are unlikely to be harmed by such goods, they are also unlikely to receive all of the health benefits they believe they have paid for.
“It’s crucial that customers understand that all those attractively branded containers on store shelves are not approved by the FDA,” Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, told the New York Times. They aren’t keeping a close eye on the probiotic market, leaving consumers to be the test subjects for these scientific studies.”
Prebiotics are beneficial to the gut flora and are already present in many consumer diets.
What about prebiotics? If probiotics are an investment that demands caution, what about prebiotics? According to Hexa Research, demand for prebiotic supplements and, increasingly, prebiotic components in food and beverages will boost the global market for prebiotics to $7.91 billion by 2025. (particularly dairy products). Food and drinks accounted for more than 80% of worldwide prebiotic application in 2016, indicating that the industry is a safe bet, especially as the availability of dairy products is projected to boost the segment’s growth.
Prebiotics make a long list of health claims in terms of what they can provide. Because of their relationship to the digestive system, they are ideal candidates for enhancing gut health, which can have a good impact on the immune system as a result. In general, prebiotics’ ability to improve digestive system function can result in a number of linked benefits, including metabolic management and obesity prevention. Although the study on these advantages hasn’t always focused on prebiotics, the nutrients’ overall supportive role in digestion adds credence to the theory. Prebiotics have a strong argument for fitting into the wellness trend, though makers should take a cue from probiotics and be cautious about making overly dramatic claims.