Growth of probiotic industry

 

Probiotics have become the new super food in recent years. They are friendly bacteria that promote digestive health and provide protection against harmful microorganisms in the body. These beneficial bacteria can be obtained from the diet, yogurt products or from dietary supplements. Probiotic bacteria naturally occur in the digestive tract and about 400 different types are found to inhabit the human gut.  Probiotics are now being looked upon as a complimentary therapy in many health conditions and the market for probiotics as a dietary supplement is impressive.

 

Most probiotics are marketed as food products such as probiotic drinks and as drugs. The safety of the bacterium that have been used traditionally in probiotics has been confirmed through a long period of experience. Bacteria such as lactobacillus acidophilus have been used extensively in food processing throughout the human history in many cultures. The probiotic preparations currently on the food retail industry are species of lactobacilli, streptococci and bifidobacteria. These three species have been shown to be the part of normal micro-flora in the human gut and hence are relatively harmless. They are commonly used in probiotic drinks and also in pre and probiotics supplement.

 

The probiotic market growth is triggered by enhanced efficiency of ingredients, which aids in developing products with bio-therapeutic value. Recent advances in probiotic research have clearly indicated a strong association with positive health benefits. Consumer awareness on the benefits of probiotics and growing body of clinical research has raised the demand for probiotic products and supplements. Besides being used in dairy industry, probiotic bacteria are now also used in food products such as fermented cereals, nutrition bars, infant formulas, dietary supplements and therapeutic foods. Some major players also integrate probiotics in food products such as chocolates, muffins, sausages, cheese and also available as probiotic drinks.

 

Market research reports relay that there is an increase in the consumption of pre and probiotics  due to the convenient forms in which most pre and probiotics are available. The most common form being dietary supplements and foods such as probiotic drinks, dairy products and baked goods. The advent of technology promises the extension of probiotics into other areas of health such as dental and immune health including applications as adjuvant therapy in many diseases such as diabetes.

 

The  probiotic industry is heavily banking on consumer awareness according to many market research reports. Higher the level of consumer awareness on pre and probiotics, more favourable for the nutraceutical industry to invest more in this niche. The future food industry trends for pre and probiotics include fortified foods such as probiotic baked products, probiotic icecreams, probiotic chocolates and combination probiotic drinks. According to market research reports this is a safe niche which is quite popular among consumers and is likely to reap rich gains in coming years.

 

The future for probiotics is bright and the consumers need to be continually educated on the strain specific science of probiotics which make pre and probiotics product truly beneficial.

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