GPA works to defend the meaning of “prebiotic” even as new ingredient technology muddies the water
Gut health has been a hot topic of research in recent years. This has seen a large number of studies on nutritional components and their impact on gut health, many of which fall outside the traditional carbohydrate/dietary fiber sources of prebiotic ingredients.
Many ingredients are flying the prebiotic flag now
For example, a recent review of botanical ingredients used to treat bowel disorders was cited in traditional European medicine settings Turmeric, Ginger and Rosemary Ingredientsas existence “Potential altering effects of the gut microbiome.”
Another recent study came out and Baldness called turmeric as a “prebiotic compound.”Another study published just this week listed curcumin, quercetin, resveratrol, naringenin, and epigallocatechin 3-gallate as all of which have anti-inflammatory and microbiome regulatory effects that could be beneficial for IBS patients.
With so many ingredients being studied in this regard, and the wide variety of foods in which these ingredients can be found, the question becomes: Can anything you eat be considered a prebiotic?
GPA strives to set boundaries
Lynn Monhet, executive director of the World Prebiotic Association, which lists Deerland, ADM, Ardent Mills and Church & Dwight as members, said dilution of the message is a concern for this group. Monheit said the GPA has been working on identifying and defending turf for the category, so consumers aren’t overwhelmed to the point where they tune out the message.
Monheit said that the GPA is not necessarily averse to extending the class definition to include new components, as long as those components have data to justify what is being said about them.
“We’ve seen an expansion of the term,”The terminator said. “It’s been expanded to include things like polyphenols and resistant starches, things that go beyond just carbohydrates that are traditionally the basis of this category.”
“It’s all well and good. But we’ve also seen things like apple cider vinegar claiming to be a prebiotic. Acetic acid (the main active ingredient in these products) It has not been verified to my knowledge as a biomaterial,”he added.
To try to put some limits on what is meant by a “prebiotic,” the GPA has come up with its own definition. This is its text:
A prebiotic is a product or ingredient that is used in microorganisms to produce a health or performance benefit.
“A prebiotic effect is “a health benefit or performance that results from a change in the composition and/or activity of a microorganism, as a direct or indirect result of the use of a specific and well-defined product or ingredient by the microorganism.”
The category is growing, as does consumer understanding
Monheit said that this category has seen solid growth although it does not have firm numbers ready to deliver, as GPA is not yet doing its own market research. Market research firm Grandview Research said the global market for these components reached $6 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.9% from 2022 to 2030.
Monheit said GPA has consumer research, though, which reinforces how much end users have learned about the health effects of prebiotics. GPA conducted a recent survey with dedicated supplement users (who got better information than the average consumer) that showed that simply getting more fiber in their diets was only #4 on their list of reasons why they should choose a prebiotic product.
“High on the list are considerations such as immunity, to support probiotic use, or the health of the microbiome in general,” The terminator said.
Can ready-made prebiotics replace ready-made versions?
While GPA is working to better define the category and ensure the playing field is level in terms of matching effective doses to claims, new ingredient technologies are coming to the fore that could throw the wrench into this business, according to investment advisor Mike Bush, board member of the International Association of Probiotics. . Bush has been part of several gut health projects.
“Every time you turn around there is a new biomaterial that claims to do some magical things. There are a lot of people in the space but eventually I think custom prebiotics will come out on top,” He said.
One of the things the GPA has advocated is ‘specificity’, which means that the developer has data to demonstrate that their prebiotic component can preferentially support the growth of a particular probiotic organism or class of organisms. That idea is now almost a plug-and-play option that could disrupt the category, Bosch said, for lack of a better term.
“There are developers who are able to create a custom carbon source that can claim to be a prebiotic without having to go to a supplier of branded ingredients,” He said.
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