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Information @ a Glance

General
  • Probiotics are live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. They are also called “friendly bacteria” or “good bacteria.” Probiotics are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods. They can be used as complementary and alternative medicine.

  • Probiotic microorganisms can be found in both supplement form and as components of foods and beverages. These bacteria and yeasts have been used for thousands of years to ferment foods. Certain yogurts and other cultured dairy products contain such helpful bacteria, particularly specific strains of Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Not all bacteria present in fermented milk products or yogurt have a probiotic effect. For this reason, in order to consider a Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium a probiotic, the specific strains selected must exert a clinically established health benefit.

Production 

  • Today, probiotics are used as health supplements in food and feeds and they are replacing the use of antibiotic growth promotors or chemical supplements. Under the right conditions the claims made for probiotic preparations can be realized. The development of suitable technology for probiotic production, taking into account viability and stability, is a key area of research for industrial production. Production of probiotics should be based on the microbial criteria, and the ability to withstand stress during processing and storage of products is important.

Applications

  • Probiotics, which most consumers associate with yogurt, have been shown to play beneficial roles in gut health, including reducing the duration or severity of a variety of diarrheal diseases and helping to protect against infectious diseases, by decreasing Helicobacter pylori infections. Additional possible health benefits attributed to probiotics include a decrease in colon cancer risk, enhancement of the immune system, reduction in symptoms of inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases, alleviation of some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, and prevention of allergic symptoms. 

  • Health benefits attributed to the consumption of probiotics include: maintenance of the normal gut flora, alleviation of lactose (milk-sugar) intolerance, improvement of digestive processes and absorption of nutrients, and stimulation of body’s immune system.

Market

  • Although probiotics is a new concept in India, it is one of the fastest growing functional food markets worldwide. Globally, the market for probiotic products is estimated at $14 billion. In the US alone, more than 100 companies market probiotic products in supplement forms. The US market is forecast to touch $394 million in 2010 while the European market may reach $137 million, according to estimates by Frost & Sullivan.

  • Arla ,BioGaia Biologics, Chr Hansen, ConAgra Functional Foods, Danisco, Groupe Danone, Nestle, Yakult are the major players in the world markert

  • Amul, Mother dairy & Nestle are already in India

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