Ingredients distributor AIDP Inc. (City of Industry, CA) is riding the rising tide of prebiotic ingredients. As research continues to mount about prebiotics’ myriad health benefits—and as consumers become more aware of gut health writ large—AIDP is continuing to invest in what it considers to be a very promising space.
At this September’s SupplySide West trade show, Alan Rillorta, director of marketing, AIDP, told Nutritional Outlook that prebiotics have rocketed into the spotlight in only a few short years. He added that while probiotics gained steam over the course of a few decades, prebiotics’ ascent has come much more rapidly. “When we first started prebiotics, about three years ago, you would say ‘prebiotic’ and people would go, ‘What, probiotic?’ ‘No, no, prebiotic!’ And they’d ask what the difference is—they wouldn’t understand” that prebiotics are plant fibers that act as fertilizers for the body’s population of existing gut bacteria, while probiotics feed the body “good” bacteria.
Rillorta said that growing awareness of probiotics and gut health in general paved the way for prebiotics, but now consumers are more clued in than ever before about the differences between pro- and prebiotics. “And I think what’s created that [awareness] is, from probiotics, people started to understand more about what gut health really means,” he said. “So, it wasn’t difficult for them to grab onto what a prebiotic was. Because they already understood probiotics.” Rillorta emphasized that a healthy microbiome is essential for overall health—an idea that consumers are taking to heart.
AIDP’s digestive-health portfolio currently includes three branded prebiotic ingredients, in addition to its other ingredients in the brain-health, bone-health, and antioxidant categories. But, according to Rillorta, the prebiotics space has been particularly successful for AIDP of late. “AIDP—this year and even the last year—has been devoting a lot of our resources to our prebiotics…and we’ve been adding to our prebiotic lines.”
Rillorta told Nutritional Outlook that new gut-health ingredients are in the pipeline for 2018. And, as the category continues to grow, it’s likely that more research will lend further support for prebiotics’ potential. “Some of the research that we’re doing on [AIDP’s prebiotic ingredient] PreticX is showing that is also has an effect on blood lipid profile,” Rillorta explained. “Some of the research is also showing that it’s helping to control blood glucose levels. So, the story is much bigger.”