Baker and biotech company launch probiotic bread product

11 January 2011 (11/01/2011) reported US-based Orlando Baking and biotech company Ganeden Biotec have launched what they claim to be the first probiotic bread product.

To date, most products containing traditional probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria have been in the chilled, short-life dairy category, but recently manufacturers have started added probiotics to dry goods, a form that consumers want to purchase. The introduction of a probiotic bread is a reflection of a growing market in the US and an opportunity to target the 52 per cent and 50 per cent of Americans who are interested in functional groceries, but currently do not buy products of this nature.

Previously the traditional probiotics couldn't survive extreme temperatures, so baking or freezing foods containing such cultures was not possible. However, Ganeden Biotec claims that its new probiotic strain can be used in products such as muffins, breads and cereal bars. GanedenBC30 is a spore-forming probiotic bacterium, meaning that inside the bacterial cell is a hardened structure, or spore, which is analogous to a seed.This spore safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressure of manufacturing processes, challenges of shelf-life and the acid and bile it is exposed to during transit to the digestive system.Once it is inside the small intestine, the viable spore is then able to germinate and produce new vegetative cells or ‘good’ bacteria.

In contrast, traditional probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria are not able to form these protective spores, making them vulnerable to heat, pressure and acidity in the digestive system.

Previous applications of the GanedenBC30 include adding the probiotics to pizza dough, in a collaboration with Ganeden Biotec and US based company NakedPizza in 2008, and Commercial Cookies Corp, a Toronto-based manufacturer of private label cookie announced, also in 2008, a partnership with Ganeden Biotech to produce probiotic-enhanced cookies.

More companies are starting to branch out in their use of probiotics in foods other than traditional forms such as dairy.Last April ingredients supplier Danisco signed a deal that will allow it to sell two probiotic strains developed by Fonterra, which will be able to be used the strains in dairy products, liquid and powdered beverages, dietary supplements, meats, cheeses, cereals, confectionery and straws.