Probiotic beads show potential for ‘friendly bugs’ to move beyond dairy


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Fish eggs or probiotic beads?
Fish eggs or probiotic beads?
Using salmon eggs as their inspiration, Brazilian food scientists have developed probiotic beads for use in an expanded range of foods, including oriental cuisine.

Writing in the Journal of Functional Foods​, researchers from the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro report that the probiotic beads “maintained the recommended microorganism counts for a period that allows its industrialization and commercialization”.

“This product may, thus, represent an opportunity for the introduction of non-dairy probiotics, especially in oriental cuisine, which is characterized by the consumption of raw fish and often involved in food borne disease outbreaks,” ​they added.


Probiotic product launches are on the rise, according to market research firm Mintel. The dairy category still accounts for the bulk of probiotic launches worldwide, while the presence of probiotic products in other categories is limited and is not growing much​.

According to Laura-Daisy Jones, global food science analyst for Mintel, the Asia Pacific regional continues to lead in terms of proboitic product launches. Almost 45% of product launches in the 2008-2012 timeframe were in this region.  Europe is next with 34%, with North America a distant, but growing third.

From salmon eggs to probiotic beads

Because fish eggs are commonly used in oriental cuisine, the Rio-based scientists used the extrusion encapsulation technique with calcium alginate to develop probiotic beads similar to fish eggs.

Beads were prepared using Lactobacillus rhamnosus​ GG ATCC 53103 and Bifidobacterium animalis​ DN-173 010. Measurements showed the beads were about 2.8 mm in diameter, and were stable to pH 3.0. In addition, beads containing L. rhamnosus​ had higher viability when stored for 30 days under refrigeration, they said.

“The probiotic product developed showed an 82.2% acceptability index of overall characteristics and good market potential as a new probiotic product,” ​wrote the researchers. 

Source: Journal of Functional Foods
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2013.01.002
“Development of probiotic beads similar to fish eggs”
Authors: R.R. Guimaraes, A. Lucia do Amaral Vendramini, A.C. dos Santos, S. Gomes Ferreira Leite, M.A. Lemos Miguel

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