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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
Testing lab Eurofins Scientific (River Falls, WI) is now using probiotic assays developed by DuPont Nutrition & Health (Madison, WI) in order to test probiotics to the strain level.
Testing lab Eurofins Scientific (River Falls, WI) is now using probiotic assays developed by DuPont Nutrition & Health (Madison, WI) in order to test probiotics to the strain level. The method involves DuPont’s polymerase chain reaction (PCR) genotyping assays that can identify probiotics at the strain level in both raw materials and finished products.
Nutritional Outlook reported on this unique assay method in 2016. DuPont says this method allows testing and identification of the strains in multistrain probiotic blends. It is offered as an "intermediate" solution to deep-sequencing DNA testing. Deep-sequencing can identify probiotics down to the strain, but is expensive and involves lag time. DuPont told Nutritional Outlook that its scientists developed the next-best “intermediate” PCR method that’s more cost-effective and provides quicker turnaround, even though it doesn’t test as deeply as deep-sequencing DNA testing does.
The companies highlight the need for better, more specific probiotic-testing methods. “The need for strain-specific testing is clear,” they said in a press release. “Numerous studies have found inaccuracies in probiotic labeling, with issues including incorrect taxonomy, missing species, and unlabeled species.”
In the press release, Wesley Morovic, a scientist in the genomic & microbiome science group at DuPont Nutrition & Health, pointed out that DuPont is one of the few manufacturers that has been willing to share its genetic identification methods with customers and the public in what the company calls an effort to “lead…the industry toward label traceability.” DuPont not only made its PCR genotyping method available to Eurofins; it also assisted Eurofins with developing accurate tests.
“Many manufacturers understand that verifying raw materials and identifying finished products is as important as quantifying potency, for both label compliance and manufacturer confidence,” said Meghan Styke, business development manager, Eurofins, in a press release. “But until now, the tools for specific and accurate identification were either inaccessible or had yet to be developed; adding to the challenges are the nuances of probiotic products. With DuPont’s strain assays, Eurofins has become the first third-party laboratory to support identification to strain level, completing our portfolio of accurate testing for full label verification of potency, stability, and identification.”