Firms working with probiotics—either in the supplement space or the food space—now have a new set of industry-stamped guidelines to follow. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) and the International Probiotics Association (IPA) have joined forces to release best-practice guidelines for the labeling, storing, and stability testing of probiotic products.
“We trust the industry will embrace these guidelines and integrate them into their labeling and manufacturing practices,” says Andrea Wong, PhD, vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs for CRN, in a press announcement. “As more and more consumers incorporate probiotic products into their daily health regimen, we felt it was essential to develop a roadmap for companies producing and marketing these products to ensure that they meet consistent, high-quality standards.”
As far as the labeling of probiotic products, the new guidelines recommend that labels identify the genus, species, and strain for each microorganism in the product, and that Colony Forming Units (CFUs) be used to express the quantitative amount of probiotics. The CFU counts listed on product labels should also reflect the quantity of live microorganisms at the end of the given shelf life, rather than at the time of manufacture.
Additionally, the guidelines outline recommendations for stability testing and storage of probiotic products—including ideal temperatures—and the responsibilities manufacturers have in ensuring probiotics products meet the labeled conditions all the way through their shelf life.
“We believe these guidelines will raise the bar for the probiotic industry,” said George Paraskevakos, executive director of IPA. “In working with CRN to develop this critical list of recommendations, we’ve demonstrated that the dietary supplement and functional food industry is proactive and responsible when it comes to meaningful self-regulation. These guidelines reflect the most up-to-date science and industry thinking, and will continue to be updated as best practices evolve.”
CRN and IPA recommend that companies comply with these new guidelines by January 2018 for all products marketed for commercial sale. The full guidelines can be found here.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine