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Sabinsa widening horizons for probiotic ingredient

By Hank Schultz , 04-Oct-2012

Sabinsa, a  New Jersey-based supplier of botanical and other functional food ingredients, is breaking new ground with an older ingredient by placing its LactoSpore probiotic into a bread brand in Colombia.

LactoSpore is being used in a sliced bread brand called Perman Pan Tajado.  LactoSpore’s ability to withstand the baking process made it a natural fit for this application.

LactoSpore is the trade name for Sabinsa’s probiotic Bacillus coagulans, formerly known as Lactobacillus sporogenes. LactoSpore can withstand the acidic environment of the stomach to germinate lower in the GI tract. The ingredient is a spore-forming strain that is shelf-stable and survives manufacturing shipping and storage with no loss of viable CFU count.

Longtime player in supplement sphere

Sabinsa has had LactoSpore on the market for many years and has loaded it into capsules and manufactured it into tablets in its Utah manufacturing facility. But recently, the company has joined the trend of other probiotic suppliers in finding outlets for its ingredient in wider functional food applications.

 “Sabinsa has sold LactoSpore for nearly 20 years in the dietary supplement space. A few years ago, after receiving self-affirmed GRAS, we began working with several marketing companies to bring out functional foods with LactoSpore,”  Shaheen Majeed, marketing director for Sabinsa, told NutraIngredients-USA.

LactoSpore has had a lot of uptake in the supplement realm, Majeed said.

“LactoSpore is in many supplements found throughout the world, in fact that is how Sabinsa introduced LactoSpore, as a dietary supplement. A fairly new product, marketed at GNC called Promend, has our LactoSpore with fiber, in what they call ‘probiotic chew’, marketed as a dietary supplement,” he said.

It is the second function food placement in recent months for the ingredient.  In August,  Sabinsa announced the placement of the probiotic into a frozen yogurt product, the Tutti Frutti self-serve brand by Wellspring Industry.

Stability characteristics widen food placement options

Majeed said there are other functional foods placements in the works.

“There will soon be other opportunities  for consumers to benefit from LactoSpore in every day foods,” he said.

LactoSpore’s foray into functional foods mirrors in some ways the path taken by a competitor in the probiotics space, Ganeden Biotech. Like Sabinsa, the  Ohio-based manufacturer offers a spore-forming strain of bacillus coagulans branded as BC30.  Ganeden,  however, has put all of its eggs into the functional foods basket, having sold its supplements business to Schiff Nutrition in 2011.  In both the case of LactoSpore and BC30, the ultra stable nature of the organisms allows them to appear in foods outside of the refrigerated dairy case, the accustomed habitat of probiotics organisms.

Market growth to remain strong

The market for probiotics, both in supplements and functional foods, shows no sign of slowing down.  In March, market research firm Euromonitor shared some data a virtual event hosted by NutraIngredients-USA and NutraIngredients called Pre- & Probiotics 2012 .  Ewa Hudson, Euromonitor’s head of health and wellness research, said global sales of probiotic supplements were predicted to rise 48% from $2.7 billion in 2011 to $4 billion in 2016.

The strongest growth can be expected in the U.S., which generated new sales of $140m in 2011 alone, she claimed.

“In the US, per capita spending on probiotic supplements is expected to nearly double by 2016 and overtake Japan,” she said.

The global sales growth for all products containing probiotics, including functional foods and beverages, will be even greater, Hudson predicted.  Global sales are expected to rise 50% in the same time frame, from $28 billion in 2011 to about $42 billion in 2016.

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