Commercialisation of Infant Nutrition Research
AnaBio’s EnCaptimus™ technology ensures that probiotic bacteria incorporated into infant formula, survive the production process, heating of the baby bottle and subsequently arrive alive in sufficient numbers to colonise the intestine and ensure the infant develops a healthy microbiome (per WHO directive 2007).
As researchers have gained an understanding of the importance of the gut microbiome to infant health and development and the influence of breast milk on the evolution of the gut microflora , infant formula manufacturers have sought to add probiotics to their formulations. However, in order to influence the microbiome the probiotics must arrive alive and in sufficient numbers to colonise the gut. Infant milk formula processing and storage, reconstitution in hot water, and passage through the infant’s stomach all reduce the viability of probiotics. AnaBio’s EnCaptimus™ technology protects the probiotic bacteria against these challenges ensuring they reach the intestine in a viable state. EnCaptimus™ provides significant benefits for the manufacturer and customer alike inclusive of :
- Enhanced product performance
- Improved production yields
- Longer product shelf-life
- Significant reductions in production and raw material cost
EnCaptimus™ Infant Nutrition Advantages
Micro-encapsulation – what is it?
Micro-encapsulation is a novel, innovative, natural method that can be used to protect bacteria from the stresses of the world, specifically associated with production, storage and consumption. Micro-encapsulation is a process that surrounds a liquid, solid or a gas with a protective membrane. This provides a protective shield to ensure optimum utilisation of valuable ingredients. It can be used to produce tiny capsules, that require a microscope to visualise, containing living probiotics that can be included in food products without impacting product quality, taste or texture.
What are probiotics and their benefits?
The human gut is home to 100 Trillion micro-organisms, called intestinal microflora. Some of these organisms, known as probiotics are good bacteria that support a healthier digestive and immune system. However other bacteria can be harmful to human health, our well-being and we need to avoid these “invaders” in our diet and daily lives. A robust and growing body of scientific evidence increasingly suggests that certain illnesses can be avoided or treated with probiotic bacteria. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines probiotic bacteria as “live microorganisms (bacteria or yeasts) that when ingested or locally applied in sufficient numbers confer one or more specified demonstrated health benefits for the host”. The explosion of knowledge and research in the realm of the human microbiome has further fuelled this area of research. Probiotic bacteria must be alive and active in sufficient numbers when they reach their site of action (usually the systemic target of the mammal, the large intestine or colon) to benefit the consumer
What is the current industry trend?
Probiotics can be administered as a dietary supplement in the form of a pill or powder and can be incorporated into food products to increase their health benefits. Many probiotic products are refrigerated to keep the product alive. The sensitive and volatile nature of probiotic is the key factor responsible for this limited range of delivery formats and need for refrigerated storage.
What are the problems that need to be solved?
As probiotics must be alive and viable in sufficient numbers, their incorporation into food products is restricted, dependent on processing and shelf-life requirements of the final food product. Unfortunately, many manufacturing processes used in the food industry drastically affect the survival of these probiotics. Drying, heat and storage can lead to massive losses in the levels of living friendly bacteria. The stomach is a major hurdle to the successful delivery of probiotic bacteria, it is a very harsh acidic environment and is one of the bodies key defence mechanisms. It performs an important function, protecting the body from outside invaders however it also has a drastic effect on the survival of probiotic bacteria.
What does EnCaptimus™ protect against?
AnaBio has performed a plethora of experiments to validate the benefits of the EnCaptimus™ platform for probiotic bacteria. Thermal processing such as pasteurisation and Ultra-High Temperature (UHT) treatments are common place in the food industry, particularly with regard to liquid products. UHT processes target the nasty food spoilage and pathogenic bacteria while the ‘good’ bacteria are kept safe and sound. EnCaptimus™ allows for the inclusion of probiotics prior to heat-treatment due to the protective effect conferred by the micro-encapsulation process. Following inclusion in a liquid product, EnCaptimus™ micro-capsules remain intact and do not interfere with the product matrix. Using this process, the probiotics remain dry and dormant and do not interact with the food product, which increases shelf-life stability. This phenomenon broadens the portfolio of products that can be now fortified with probiotics (including liquid foods for ambient storage conditions and gummy products). EnCaptimus™ micro-capsules protect against:
Heat stress during product manufacture
Pressure during industrial processing
Extrusion during product formulation
Temperature stress during storage
High moisture content in final products
Stomach acid & enzymes