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Microbiome Insights: What are the biggest challenges for the industry? - WATCH

By Nathan Gray contact

- Last updated on GMT

With a growing focus on probiotics, prebiotics and the microbiome, the NutraIngredients team asked experts at our recent Probiota conference what they think the biggest future challenges to the industry will be.

Getting consumers to understand the 'true nature' of probiotics is the biggest challenge that industry faces, according to Linda Nackmar of Probi.
"[Consumers should understand] how does one strain differ from another strain. What can probiotics actually do. And to get the consumer to tell the difference between a good product and a bad product,​" suggested Nackmar. 

Meanwhile, Dr Daniel Ramón Vidal of ADM Biopolis says that it will be important to have a big repository of data - adding that access to large amounts of microbiome data will become ever more important for scientific studies and also for finding new product concepts.

Dr Arthur Ouwehand of DuPont says there are 'a number of challenges' that the industry faces.

"On the one hand, there is understanding of mechanisms, and on the other hand is the reliable documentation of health benefits,"​ he said.

Ouwehand noted that in particular there is a challenge in what kind of populations research should be performed in.

"In many cases health benefits are easy to show in patients, but regulators - not only in Europe, but all over the world - are requesting us to do research in healthy people. Which of course makes things much more challenging," ​he said. 

"You can do these things quite easily in the lab, in animal studies, in vitro studies, but in studies in humans it's much more difficult."

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