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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
A newly published peer-reviewed paper written by probiotic supplier DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (Wilmington, DE) and other industry stakeholders urges those making probiotic products to better make use of third-party certifications and other tools to boost quality control in the commercial probiotics market.
A newly published peer-reviewed paper1 written by probiotic supplier DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (Wilmington, DE) and other industry stakeholders urges those making probiotic products to better make use of third-party certifications and other tools to boost quality control in the commercial probiotics market.
“As the global probiotics market gains popularity and the number of products on the shelves increases, it becomes increasingly difficult for consumers to distinguish between low-quality from high-quality products,” said Buffy Stahl, the paper’s coauthor, and global business development leader at DuPont, in a press release.
Ultimately, a perceived lack of quality could hurt the probiotics industry overall, she added. “Although many compelling studies show the myriad benefits of probiotics, the perceived quality of commercial probiotic products continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and concrete industry standards,” she said. “We believe the time is now for the industry to voluntarily improve transparency, and each company in the supply chain needs to hold themselves accountable to delivering a quality product consumers can trust.”
The paper, published in Frontiers in Microbiology and titled “Improving End-User Trust in the Quality of Commercial Probiotic Products,” highlights what the authors see as important tools for improving the quality of probiotic products. These include: 1) third-party verification, certification, and qualification of probiotic products, 2) consistently applied, fit-for-purpose quality standards, 3) ensuring manufacturers include all necessary information on product labels, 4) clearly identifying specific probiotic strains, including those linked to scientific research, and 5) an accurate quantification of the amount of live probiotic strains in each product by the time the product reaches the end user.
Other authors of the report included those from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Eurofins Food Integrity and Innovation, Chr. Hansen, GNC, U.S. Pharmacopeia, and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics.