Recently launched in European and African markets, OptiXOS (xylo-oligosaccharide) stimulates selective bacteria growth and has additional properties, such as low water activity, making it suitable for use in more advanced prebiotic solutions, like synbiotics, says the company's CEO René Kamminga.
“OptiXOS is unlike any prebiotic fibre commercially available in Europe today and will enable health supplement producers to more easily combine pre- and probiotic ingredients in capsule form and optimise the impact of formulations in terms of performance.
“The unique, commercially unrivalled, and low effective dose creates the possibility to deliver prebiotic supplements in capsule or sachet form.”
Other benefits include wide pH stability, high heat stability and solubility as well as a stronger capacity to withstand the “harsh environment” of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which “means more reaches the gut to enhance the growth of health positive bacteria”.
This, in turn, “protects the gut barrier, improves GI symptoms and fights against inflammation,” she adds.
The mechanistic activity of OptiXOS is backed by peer-reviewed studies and clinical research that demonstrates “superior” GI tolerance and positive gut health outcomes at a dose as low as one gram, according to Kamminga.
A scientific abstract published in 2018, reported selective increases in concentrations of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG® strain in gut models with OptiXOS. The increase was considered statistically significant and did not occur in other commensal bacterial groups like Bacteroides and Clostridia.
She comments: “OptiXOS as a substrate in a synbiotic has been scientifically proven to selectively enhance specific probiotic strains like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lb. rhamnosus, Lb. brevus, alongside Bifidobacterium strains such as B. lactis, B. adolescentis, B. longum.
“Ergo, by using OptiXOS within synbiotics it can create more advanced solutions that can confer a direct health benefit.”
OptiXOS is already available in North America and Asia and acquired European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) novel food approval in 2018. The ingredient is GRAS approved and has New Dietary Ingredients (NDI) status in the US.
Synergistic synbiotics comprise live micro-organisms (probiotics) with substrates (prebiotics) that work together to offer enhanced health benefits and are a growing trend within the supplements market.
According to Emergen Research Synbiotics Market report1, synbiotic food supplements had an estimated market value of US$817m and revenue CAGR of 8.3% in 2021. Growth is particularly buoyant in Europe, where consumer awareness is increasing along with availability, analysts say.
“Increasing demand for functional food with a growing number of health-conscious consumers is one of the major factors driving market growth. Consumption of synbiotics provides various nutritional and health benefits, such as stronger immune system and digestive health. Synbiotics are crucial for alleviation of lactose intolerance, lowering osteoporosis, and anti-allergic effects.”
Rapid expansion is also driven by increased microbial strains and antioxidants that enhance probiotic products. Dietary fibre is another key factor along with research & development initiatives on human microbiome with advanced technologies, they add.