Why consistency and quality control are paramount in the production of postbiotics

That was the view of Cargill Microbiome Program Manager, Dr. Briana Kozlowicz, who was presenting on the postbiotics industry at our recent Growth Asia Summit 2022 event in Singapore.

“We follow the consensus definition of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) at Cargill, which defines probiotics as a preparation of “inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confer health benefits to host””,​ Dr. Kozlowicz told the room.

“An ISAPP panel was convened to define those postbiotic products that are made with intentionally dead microbes as effectors, essentially having non-living microbes improving consumer health even after being killed by known methods.

“We realize that postbiotics can be a bit controversial among the probiotic crowd, and there are several definitions that differ on certain details, so it’s always best to understand where one of your collaborators is coming from or what consumers privilege. ”

The crucial components of postbiotics capable of conferring health benefits are the metabolites contained in the product, which are small molecules left behind by microorganisms after death – these can include small chain fatty acids, enzymes , lysates, vitamins, amino acids and many more.

“There are many beneficial postbiotics available, but the biology that reaches them is often messy, [so] certain factors must be observed to ensure that each postbiotic is unique and consistent,”she says.

“Using a controlled process is very important here to ensure that the resulting products are not only unique but also reproducible so that consumers consistently get the benefits they seek.

“A standard process would see the selection of a particular microbe, for example a live, metabolite-making yeast, then these would be fermented under strictly controlled growth conditions, followed by the supply of a consistent nutrient mix and specific.

“At the end of the fermentation process, there will then be a very tightly controlled finishing process which essentially controls the method of destruction used to render the yeast inanimate but leaves the desired metabolites, and finally this postbiotic mixture will be sent for a control of quality to ensure consistency.

“For example, the fermentate of our flagship postbiotic product EpiCor is a unique product but its identity is consistent and verified through the use of FTNIR (Fourier Transform Near Infra Red) spectroscopy – this ensures the same ‘fingerprint’ for each batch each time EpiCor is produced and released for sale.

Consumer Health Benefits

Dr. Kozlowicz also highlighted the myriad ways in which postbiotics are able to provide consumers with desired health benefits, and like prebiotics and probiotics, these can go far beyond simple health benefits. gut health.

“Even though the consumption of postbiotics tends to be oral, microbial metabolites may have impacts beyond gut-related benefits such as nutrition and weight,”she says.

“There may also be benefits for the gut-brain axis which will impact mood and sleep; and for the immune system – the general way to do this now is to target the health status of interest, e.g. cognition, then identify the target metabolite of interest or aim to create a new one, then perform small-scale prototype screening before moving on to larger-scale prototype testing.

“Modern technologies such as metabolomic fingerprinting are very useful on a small scale to help us see distinguishing differences and select candidates for further investigation because they can scan a large number of candidates so that we can prioritize which perform best. , then in vitro is used to further differentiate.

About Sally E. Bartley

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