Supplement Perspectives

Probiotics and the Price of Stability

If you want your probiotic supplement to reach people around the world, Johan Quintens writes, preservation counts.

Probiotic ingredients display a wide range of health benefits, and its presence is growing. One can buy probiotic food and nutraceuticals, as well as pharmaceuticals in pharmacies and supermarkets all over Europe.

The health benefit of those available products, however, very depends on the time of use. Many contain free and untreated probiotics, which tend to degrade over time of transport and storage. Pharmaceutical products containing probiotics often have to refrigerated, in some cases even deep frozen. That adds to transportation and storage costs and renders a product inconvenient for the user.

To overcome those drawbacks, new ways of delivering probiotics have to be found.

In the past, microencapsulation was used to produce stabilized particles for probiotics but those formulations had a low yield in the encapsulation performance—the finally entrapped probiotics compared to the probiotics used for producing the particles. The transport and storage stability did not increase much over the natural form and the release in the intestine, where the probiotics are finally active, was not clearly controllable.

The transport and storage stability is a minor issue in highly developed countries. But elsewhere, including Africa and China, temperature stability is a major issue. As long as the stability of the production between purchase and home use cannot be guaranteed, those countries must be ignored.

This shows the need for new formulations providing a high encapsulation rate, easy transport and storage, and controlled release properties.

It also shows the needs for manufacturers to consider their delivery system very carefully—especially how it’s made. The formulation means nothing if no one can take it, and your international presence is severely hampered if your product is spoiled before anyone can sample it.

At Vesale Pharma, our INTELICAPS Microencapsulation processes produce microspheres or microcapsules with a very narrow size distribution. A very wide range of shell materials can be used, generating particles in a diameter range of ca. 200 – 800µm. The active material encapsulated can be supplied as a formulation optimized to the application. These processes are cost-efficient and easy to use, so they can be used in labs and production facilities worldwide.

The natural products industry is a worldwide game. Whether it’s Intelicaps or another company, you need allies that maintain your products’ effectiveness from sea to sea and coast to coast.

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