Microbiome modulation takes center stage: Unveiling the NutraIngredients 2024 Awards finalists

By Olivia Brown

- Last updated on GMT

Valiantsin suprunovich / Getty Images
Valiantsin suprunovich / Getty Images

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The human microbiome has become a focal point for scientific exploration in recent years, with research delving into its influence on various aspects of health, from digestion to mental well-being.

This surge in interest has fuelled a rapidly growing market for products and ingredients designed for microbiome modulation.

This year’s Nutraingredients awards for the Microbiome Modulation Ingredient and Product of the Year showcase the field’s diversity and ingenuity, featuring novel ingredients, targeted delivery systems and a strong emphasis on robust scientific evidence.

Ingredient of the year: Microbiome modulation

Immuse

Kyowa Hakko Europe’s Immuse postbiotic, containing the lactic acid bateria Lactococcus lactis​, was found to be the first bacterial strain to directly activate pDC immune cells located in the Peyer’s patches of the small intestine. It is known that these cells can then stimulate the wider immune system to support optimal immunity.

A number of randomized controlled trials reported that LC-plasma reduced symptoms of illness​ and increased anti-inflammatory markers.

The company highlighted the ingredient's strong scientific backing and unique mechanism of action in support of immune system activation as differentiators in this competitive market.

Winner reveal

The awards will be presented at a VIP party hosted by NutraIngredients in Geneva, Switzerland on May 15, recognizing leading initiatives and products across industry categories and celebrating the 10th​ anniversary of the awards.

“With a stellar line-up of competitors in this year’s finals, the team is exciting to celebrate our worthy finalists and winners as well as mark a huge milestone for the brand,” said Nikki Hancocks, editor of NutraIngredients.com.

Totipro Postbiotics PE0301

Brought to market by Glac Biotech, Totipro postbiotics PE0301 contains fermented metabolites extracted from three strains of probiotics for oral care applications.

Responding to an identified need for oral care support, with around 2.4 billion people globally suffering from oral care issues including dental cavities, the postbiotic entered the European market to support oral and stomach health. The ingredient helps to preserve nutrients including lactic acid, organic acids, amino acids, enzymes and polysaccharides.

Previous in vitro​ and in vivo​ research identified the ingredient's anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and a clinical study highlighted its ability to boost immunity by elevating IgA levels​, oral microbiome health and stomach mucosa.

Femme

Targeting the women’s health market, SynBalance Srl—a combination of L. plantarum​-PBS067, L. rhamnosus​-LRH020 and B.lactis​-BL050 bacterial strains which have been shown to exhibit antimicrobial activity against urogenital infections and bacterial vaginosis and restore the vaginal microbiota.

In vitro​ and ex vivo​ research has suggested that Femme can improve the relative abundance of Lactobacillus to reduce inflammation and reverse dysbiosis; a common occurrence in women’s health conditions such as menopause.

Product of the year: Microbiome modulation

Crispact

PharmExtracta’s Crispact food supplement contains 20 billion CFU/stick of the probiotic strain Lactobasillus crispatus M247. ​The powdered sachet contents can be directly dissolved in the mouth.

The product is tailored to the women’s health market, with intakes found to establish a healthy vaginal microbiome, address common vaginal and urogenital infections, and promote the clearance of HPV infections.

Research shows​ that Crispact intakes resulted in the clearance of HPV infection in 71% of the women studied following a three-month intervention.  The researchers highlighted that spontaneous HPV clearance usually only occurs in approximately 50% of women within one year. A further randomized controlled trial revealed that Crispact resulted in a 65% increase in women with negativization of HPV infection compared to controls.

Floré

Sun Genomics entered the category with its customizable synbiotic and microbiome testing kit Floré GI SereniT. The at-home stool test uses Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) of the gut microbiome to provide insights into gut dysbiosis, microbiome diversity and IBS/IBD, identifying over 100,000 genomes and 30,000 organism species.

After submitting the report to a clinician, customers can use the app to manage symptoms and improve gut health through 3-, 6- or 12-month gut wellness programmes.

The product aims to respond to a significant proportion of the population suffering from unresolved gastrointestinal issues, providing a personalised solution for sustained change.

Gut Support with Stress Management

Brought to market by The Akkermansia Company, Gut Support with Stress Management aims to support those with IBS in addition to stress and anxiety, providing 30 billion CFU of Akkermansia muciniphila​ postbiotic. The supplement has demonstrated the ability to successfully increase Akkermansia levels, where lower levels of the strain are associated with the progression of multiple diseases.

The supplement also provides chamomile for the regulation of gastrointestinal motility and vitamin B2 and B9 for the maintenance of normal psychological function and normal mucous membranes.

A randomized controlled trial that assessed intakes of Akkermansia muciniphila found that the strain showed some improvements to IBS symptom scores​, as well as anxiety and depression scores.

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