USP-IFT Workshop on Probiotics

April 6, 2012

The U.S. Pharmacopeia and the Institute of Food Technologists will host a May workshop on the identity of probiotics.

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and the Institute of Food Technologies (IFT) will host a two-day workshop on the identity of probiotics, May 9–10 at the USP headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. The intention of the event is to focus on establishing stronger public standards for probiotics, ingredients that are falling under increased scrutiny.

 “Given the large number of [probiotic] strains being researched and optimized for use in foods, manufacturers must verify that the strain they are using is the one studied in the safety/clinical trial upon which their health claims and safety determinations were based,” said USP in an official press release. “This is difficult because of the level of specificity needed to differentiate strains, and is further complicated by factors arising from the fact that probiotics are live microorganisms-and are subject to wide variability and sensitivity to different environments. Tests for identification as well as numeration (microbe dose) are areas where public standards can provide benefit.”

The USP-IFT workshop is scheduled to bring in a number of significant presenters, including FDA, Health Canada, EFSA, and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. Workshop sessions will range from developing standard methods for functional assays to understanding the process changes that can impact safety, identity, and efficacy of probiotics.

Early-bird registration is still available, but ends on Monday, April 9. To register or learn more about the program, visit the link above.