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PLT beefing up to support anticipated BC30 probiotic sales surge

By Hank Schultz , 12-Oct-2012

PL Thomas is beefing up its science staff to better drive the sales growth of one the major ingredients it offers, Ganeden’s BC30 probiotic, to take advantage of an anticipated demand surge.

The expected business bump is attributed to Ganeden having received FDA no objection GRAS status in August for the ingredient. It’s a step up from self-affirmed status, and is the designation that most major CPG players want to see before even beginning to consider whether to use a particular ingredient.

“The majority of food and beverage companies look for FDA-accepted GRAS status,” Bob Berman, international marketing manager for New Jersery-based PL Thomas, told NutraIngredients-USA.

Unique ingredient

Ganeden, based in Ohio, has done a number of safety and stability studies and clinical trials on its ingredient.  It’s one of the things that sets the ingredient apart even from other companies offering strains of bacillus coagulans, according to Mike Bush, VP of sales for Ganeden.

“The big difference between BC30 and the other spore formers on the market is we invest tens of millions of dollars in science. We constantly invest in strain-specific studies,” he said.

“Between the different strain of bacillus coagulans there can be huge difference. They all do different things.”

Telling the science story

It’s helpful then, Bush said, when an agent like PL Thomas has people on staff who understand these sometimes arcane distinctions and can communicate them to customers.

“For our distributors it’s good when they have more science people in that it allows them to more accurately articulate the Ganeden story,” he said.

“PT Thomas has just hired individuals with strong backgrounds in probiotics so we are really ideally placed to be able help companies with (the use of ) Ganeden BC30, and in conjunction with Ganeden itself who have  a technical support staff second to none,” Berman said.

“PLT has recently strengthened its capabilities to partner with Ganeden with the hiring of a PhD microbiologist with specialization in probiotics and an MS nutrition/food scientist with probiotics experience. In addition, Dr. Barbara Davis, PhD Nutrition, will join PLT on October 15th as Director of Scientific Affairs, adding her extensive knowledge of probiotics, obtained during her tenure with Dannon, to the BC30 campaign," according to PLT president Paul Flowerman.

Ingredient's stability widens applications

Ganeden aims its ingredient at the functional foods market, having sold the supplement side of its business to Schiff Nutrition in 2011.  BC30 is a strain of bacillus coagulans, a spore-forming species.  The strain’s spore-forming life cycle confers a highly stable nature, making it ideal for applications in a wide variety of foods and beverages outside of the dairy aisle, which is the traditional haunt of probiotic ingredients.  It survives most food manufacturing processes, according to the company, and doesn’t require refrigeration to maintain its viable CFU count. It can be used in baked goods, drink mixes, prepared foods and nutrition bars, just to name a few.

Ganeden has inked deals in recent years to place the ingredient in a variety of applications that are new for probiotics, including chocolate, sweeteners and, most recently, instant coffee.

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