Probiotic Technology That Protects Live Cultures
In our last post, we talked about the ways that live probiotic cultures can die off, between the time of manufacture and the time you take them. The live cultures can be damaged during manufacturing. High temperatures or a high acid environment can kill the cultures. Even humidity at the wrong time can mean probiotics lose viability too soon.
Better Technology Means Longer-lived Probiotic Cultures
In 2009, an independent organization tested a number of probiotic products to check if they contained the amount of organisms stated on the label. 85% of them did not. Manufacturers took notice, and began developing new technologies to ensure that probiotic cultures had much greater survival rates. Three years later, in 2012, only 17% of the products tested failed to meet label claims for potency. Today, with continuing advances in manufacturing technology, that number is probably even lower.
4 Ways Manufacturers Protect Probiotics
Today, the best manufacturers are those who take every precaution to protect their probiotics, from the time they’re cultured in the lab until they reach the consumer’s gut. First, they don’t use processes that damage or destroy the bacterial cells. Second, they choose strains that are shown to have good resistance to stomach acid.
Third, they use cutting-edge encapsulation technologies. The particular technology may differ between manufacturers, but the end result is that probiotics pass unharmed through the stomach to reach either the small or large intestine. There, under specific conditions, the capsule releases the probiotics where they’ll most effectively deliver their health benefits. And fourth, reliable manufacturers use climate-controlled distribution and storage systems.
How to Choose and Store Your Probiotics
When you choose a probiotic, you don’t want bacteria that is dead on arrival. For best viability, look for products that remain shelf stable at room temperature for at least 12 months unopened. Store in a cool, dry location and avoid heat and humidity. Some probiotics are sensitive to oxygen, too, so don’t expose the product to oxygen any longer than necessary.