The probiotics market offers great potential for manufacturers and has continued to gain momentum, despite the complex processing challenges of formulating products with these beneficial microorganisms. The bacteria often die during the food manufacturing process or during the passage to the intestine. Shelf life is unpredictable for probiotics, and the industry has had difficulty backing up label claims.

Regardless of the uncertainty of formulating with probiotics, their value is well recognized…

Table 1—Stresses to which probiotics are exposed

Table 2—Concentration of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract

Fig. 2—Strains of probiotics that have been microencapsulated include, from top, L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and B. longum

Fig. 3—Acid resistance of two strains of unencapsulated and microencapsulated (ME) lactic acid bacteriaTable 3—Stability of microencapsulated L. acidophilus R0052 at 40oC and 75% relative humidity

Table 4—Stability of microencapsulated P. acidilactici in nonfat dry milk at 30ºCFig. 4—Nutrient bars are one example of products in which microencapsulation can provide high survival rates of probiotics

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