To date, most products containing traditional probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria have been in the chilled, short-life dairy category, but recently manufacturers have started added probiotics to dry goods.
A spokesperson for Ganeden Biotec said that customers are keen to consume probiotics in this form, adding to existing habits, rather than adding a new food group to their diet.
Datamonitor analyst Mike Hughes told this publication that given that probiotic groceries are more commonly found in the dairy sector, the introduction of a probiotic bread is a reflection of a growing market in the US and an opportunity to target the 52 per cent and 50 per cent of Americans who are interested in functional groceries, but currently do not buy products of this nature.
“If the probiotic bread is to prove successful (and the product is given a more nationwide rollout) it is crucial that the sensory credentials of the bread (i.e. freshness, taste) are not impacted by the introduction of beneficial bacteria in the formulation process, or that the product does not command a too premium price tag,” said Hughes.
The analyst said that degrees of price sensitivity and the credentials of probiotics in the bakery sector are yet to be tested.
Probiotics are living microorganisms, or good bacteria, which when administered in adequate amounts, can deliver health benefits to the consumer.
Previously the traditional probiotics couldn’t survive extreme temperatures, so baking or freezing foods containing such cultures was not possible. However, Ganeden Biotec claims that its new probiotic strain can be used in products such as muffins, breads and cereal bars.
GanedenBC30 is a spore-forming probiotic bacterium, meaning that inside the bacterial cell is a hardened structure, or spore, which is analogous to a seed.
This spore safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressure of manufacturing processes, challenges of shelf-life and the acid and bile it is exposed to during transit to the digestive system.
Once it is inside the small intestine, the viable spore is then able to germinate and produce new vegetative cells or ‘good’ bacteria.
In contrast, traditional probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria are not able to form these protective spores, making them vulnerable to heat, pressure and acidity in the digestive system.
UK-based ingredients distributor Cornelius also recently made a deal with Ganeden Biotech to supply GanedenBC30 to the UK market.
Previous applications of the GanedenBC30 include adding the probiotics to pizza dough, in a collaboration with Ganeden Biotec and US based company NakedPizza in 2008, and Commercial Cookies Corp, a Toronto-based manufacturer of private label cookie announced, also in 2008, a partnership with Ganeden Biotech to produce probiotic-enhanced cookies.
The spokesperson said this is the first time the company has applied its probiotic strain GanedenBC30 to a bread product.
More and more companies are starting to branch out in their use of probiotics in foods other than traditional forms such as dairy.
Last April ingredients supplier Danisco signed a deal that will allow it to sell two probiotic strains developed by Fonterra to a wider food and drink audience.
Danisco said its customers will now be able to use the strains in dairy products, liquid and powdered beverages, dietary supplements, meats, cheeses, cereals, confectionery and straws.
Source: Bakery and Snacks