In prototype testing conducted by the company over two years, the international patent-pending process that employs salts to treat strains demonstrated 60 per cent strain viability after five months in dry and light moisture food matrices.
These included nutrition bars, infant formulas, breakfast cereals, powder beverages and processed cheese that are often submitted to intense heat treatment in production.
Danisco has been working with the Lactobacillus acidophilus strain, butEgon Bech Hansen, vice president in research and development at Danisco Bio Actives, told NutraIngredients-USA.com that the process could be applied across its portfolio of probiotic strains.
“Nutrition bars have the most potential but we have tested many products and the results are very exciting,” Hansen said. “We have also conducted comparative testing on many other probiotic offerings on the market and know this technology is competitive with the best on the market for shelf-life.”
The ingredients would sell at an unstated premium to its regular probiotic range but Hansen said added shelf-life could lead to overall costs being lower than for manufacturers.
Stability had been demonstrated in food supplements and was also suitable for animal feed applications although Hansen noted that heat treatment were higher in that sector and therefore shelf-life was not up to food levels.
In the lab
Danisco’s trials showed resistance to temperatures up to 50°C increased ten-fold compared to control strains when heat treatment was applied for 24 hours under dry conditions.
The treated Lactobacillus acidophilus then retained 60 per cent strain viability after being stored for five months at room temperature in a nutritional bar with a moisture level of 0.35Aw.
Testing in a cheese found the encapsulated probiotic was 2,500 times superior to that of the control.
The technology will be presented by Danisco’s bioprocess development senior scientist, Isabelle Mazeaud, at an upcoming workshop on microencapsulation of flavors and bioactives in Minnesota.
She commented: “A high level of probiotic survival all through process and storage is both technically and economically critical for food and supplement manufacturers.”