Analysis from Lumina’s latest report, identifies probiotics as bridging the gap between the product sectors and health conditions in common, creating new opportunities in microbiome and personalised nutrition.
Backed by robust probiotic science, the report also highlights industry activity that sees the likes of Nestlé, Danone-Nutricia, Mead Johnson and Abbott Labs amongst others, harness the benefits of probiotic ingredients to give babies, toddlers and children the best nutritional start in life.
“Within the FMCG markets, the rise in popularity fits within the broader mega-trend of personalised nutrition,” explains Ewa Hudson, director of insights at Lumina Intelligence.
“FIRST 1000 DAYS science is backed by an ever-growing cast of players from food giants like Nestlé and Danone to the powerful probiotic ingredients sector to research institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to government bodies and the pharmaceutical sector.”
Nestlé continue to make headway in the probiotic sector with its MATERNA Opti-Lac product for lactating mothers to help reduce the risk of breast pain and mastitis, allowing them to continue breastfeeding.
Launched in June last year, MATERNA Opti-Lac contains a patented unique probiotic strain of Lactobacillus fermentum LC40 which is naturally found in the breastmilk of healthy mums.
Meanwhile Danone’s efforts have been in the functional food sector, with the refinement of its Activia and Actimel yoghurts that cater to consumer’s evolving tastes and preferences.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Alongside industry the report, which covers 25 countries and probiotic categories including supplements, juice, cosmetics and kombucha, also details the role of research institutions like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which gave its seal of approval to probiotic’s role in eradicating malnutrition within 20 years.
In October 2019, the ex-Microsoft CEO spoke of personalised nutrition advances including probiotic interventions that could reduce childhood mortality and malnutrition.
“Now that we’re understanding more about how the gut gets messed up, we’re figuring out how to change it,” Gates said in a British newspaper article.
“And that is going to not only help prevent malnutrition and obesity, but lots of other diseases – like asthma, allergies, and some autoimmune diseases, which may be trigged by an unbalanced microbiome.”
The report also delves into the science behind probiotics assessing not only its quality but also its application to infant-related disorders such as sepsis, colic, diarrhoea, eczema, brain health and allergies.
Analysis reveals L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri are the most popular probiotic species amongst the 79 brands and 109 brand variants surveyed - present in 46% and 29% of these products respectively.
The next most popular species are B. longum (27%), B. breve (24%) and B. infantis (22%), although L. acidophilus is the second most prevalent in supplements for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
According to Lumina, B. infantis is the subject of considerable investment as early 2020 saw the US-based microbiome firm Evolve BioSystems, announce a joint collaboration known as Singapore Infant Gut Microbiome Awareness Project (SIGMA).
The project will study the readily available stool samples of babies across the Chinese, Malay, and Indian babies to find out the prevalence of B. infantis and educate consumers on the importance of prevalence of B. infantis.
Closer to home, the strain is just one of a number of Bifidobacterium-related members that forms ADM’s popular Bio-Kult probiotics range.
Alongside Bio-Kult Infantis for babies, toddlers and young children, ADM also make available the Bio-Kult Candéa for women, Bio-Kult Pro-Cyan that contains two specifically selected probiotic strains with Vitamin A and Cranberry, targeting the urinary tract.
US-based Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) announced its acquisition of UK-based Probiotics International Limited - known under its umbrella brand Protexin - in August 2018.
The £185m (€206m) deal, was part of a series of investments as ADM continues to expand its portfolio of health and wellness offerings in both human and animal nutrition.
B. infantis originates from the mother’s gut and babies obtain it from outside the birth canal when they are born. It is also the only bacteria capable of breaking down the Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMOs) into lactate and acetate which the babies could digest.
With a majority of babies born via caesarean in some populations, many of them are suspected of having low levels of B. infantis.
ABOUT LUMINA INTELLIGENCE
Lumina Intelligence is an insights service delivering a unique perspective on high-growth food and nutrition markets brought to you by William Reed, publisher of food and drink news sites including Nutraingredients.com and FoodNavigator.com.
Lumina Intelligence has been created to equip the industry with tools to measure the evolution of science, online consumer engagement and regulation and its impact on product formulation, labelling and new product development.
Our aim is to help users pinpoint trends and opportunities in niche markets, helping maximise the chance for success for new product launches.
With data from over 20 countries, Lumina provides in-depth ingredient analysis and product labelling information across Probiotics, Sports Nutrition and Sustainability.