DSM Food Specialties' nutritional ingredients unit will be presenting its second generation Lafti probiotic strains at the Vitafoods show in Geneva in May.
Already used in the dairy industry, DSM's LAFTI portfolio has now been extended with a powder formulation specially developed for dietary supplements.
The Dutch company says that long shelf-life and other unfavourable conditions for live bacteria in dry applications have proved a challenge to this sector. With the new Lafti development, DSM claims to be opening up new opportunities for manufacturers in a rapidly growing market.
Lafti probiotics are said to survive well, not just in the end-product, but throughout shelf life and during passage through the acidic gastric tract, too. This ensures that the highest possible dose of active bacteria reaches the intestine.
DSM cites trials that have shown Lafti to remain alive and effective in drinking yoghurts and orange juices, for longer than other well known probiotic strains available. Human studies are expected to complement the existing in vitro and in vivo animal studies in the near future.
Research backing the health benefits of probiotics, while still inconclusive, continue to show positive evidence that the bacteria can stimulate the immune system and improve the digestion process. Dairy products increasingly contain added probiotic bacteria, and in some markets this is becoming the norm rather than exceptional.
DSM, the new owner of the Roche vitamin business, has annual sales of close to €8 billion. It is hoping to grow its sales (partly through acquisitions) to around €10 billion by 2005, when at least 80 per cent of sales should be generated by specialties.
Vitafoods takes place from 13-15 May at the Palexpo in Geneva, Switzerland.