Face-to-Face: Meet Mike Bush July 2016

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.

 

Mike BushThis month meet...

Mike Bush, president, Ganeden

  1. How did you get your start in the food science world?
    Prior to Ganeden, I worked in the healthcare, biotech, and bioinformatics arenas. With more than 20 years of experience in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses, Ganeden brought me in as a consultant in 2006 to develop a strategic plan for commercializing the large number of patents the company held. At that time, Ganeden was focused on selling consumer products at retail, but we saw a massive opportunity in the functional food, beverage, and animal nutrition space. We began the process to launch what ultimately became our ingredient business, and started down the regulatory and clinical paths that were required to enter the food and beverage space. After several years of safety, efficacy, regulatory, and related work and thousands of hours of work on the part of our growing team, we had our first food launches in May 2008.

  2. What do you love about your job/studies?
    I love that the culture at Ganeden fully supports my passion for probiotics, science, and innovation. The entire team at Ganeden shares the same values and I enjoy leading this fantastic group as we innovate and delve deeper into the probiotic space.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you face in your job/studies?
    One of the biggest challenges is the education factor. There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding probiotics, such as fermented foods being probiotic (they’re not always), probiotics not surviving in foods/beverages (GanedenBC30 does), the need to have tens of billions of cells to be effective or the Live & Active CultureTM seal meaning that the yogurt with the seal provides probiotic benefits. We spend a large part of our time educating food and beverage manufacturers, consumers, and even the media—helping them understand the benefits of probiotics in general and more specifically the benefits of GanedenBC30, but it is a constant struggle to help even educated scientists understand that the benefits of one probiotic to another can be vastly different from strain to strain.

  4. What have you learned or been exposed to in the past 12 months that has helped you in your job/studies?
    The number of probiotic launches we have been involved in and the success of each of them have been inspiring and continues to fuel my passion for the probiotic space. In 2015, products with GanedenBC30 probiotics exceeded more than $1 billion in sales. We currently have our ingredients in more than 500 foods, beverages, animal health, and skin care products and our ingredients are approved for use in more than 46 countries internationally. The demand and awareness of GanedenBC30 probiotics continues to grow in both the manufacturing industry as well as with consumers and media, which helps me with my job of expanding our probiotic reach and continuing to educate the industry and the general public.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming year?
    While I can’t speak to entire food industry, we do see a rise in demand for functional foods and beverages, with specific interest in probiotics. The global market of probiotic ingredients, supplements, and foods is expected to climb over the next five years to reach $36.7 billion in 2018, according to BCC Research. Ganeden is helping even more companies enter the probiotic industry and our plan for the coming year is to continue providing a high-quality, science-backed probiotic strain for foods and beverages and animal health products. We’ll continue to offer best of class service and assist companies with adding GanedenBC30 to their products. The end goal is to provide consumers around the globe with the benefits GanedenBC30 offers. We also have plans to add new ingredients to our portfolio in the coming year that will continue to grow our focus on digestive and immune health.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    Sushi on a good day, pizza on every other.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.