- Laboratory studies show that a new inactivated probiotic from Ganeden called Staimune had similar immune activation and anti-inflammatory effects as live cells, according to a company statement.
- Staimune became available earlier this summer and was developed using inactivated cells of the company's patented strain of probiotic bacteria — GanedenBC30 — which is its best-known product.
- Ganeden has also conducted a human trial, and the initial findings indicate that Staimune "supports a healthy immune system in response to different stressors," according to the company. Details of those results are to be released later.
Many recent studies have shown beneficial effects to the immune system from consuming different strains of probiotics. Korean researchers found that daily consumption of probiotic yogurt boosted the activity of vital immune cells in older people. They reported that eating yogurt containing two probiotic strains (L. paracasei and B. lactis) and heat-treated bacteria (L. plantarum) on a daily basis enhances natural killer cells, which are known to provide substantial defense against viral infection.
Future uses for Staimune might include being a fortifying ingredient in shelf-stable beverages and other products where live probiotics could pose a formulation challenge. Probiotics are known to be sensitive to temperature and pressure extremes common in manufacturing processes. While Ganeden's BC30 strain is mostly resilient for food and beverage applications innovations in temperature-stable strains mean that probiotics are no longer relegated to the dairy case or the supplements aisle. Without the requirement that the probiotic stay active, Staimune increases the number of food and beverage items that probiotics can be added to for beneficial effects.
To cash in on the probiotics craze, manufacturers have started buying probiotics firms or adding the good-for-you bacteria to various products. PepsiCo acquired probiotics beverage maker KeVita this past fall and launched its Tropicana Essentials Probiotics line earlier this year, which a company official said made it the first brand to bring probiotics to the mainstream juice aisle. And the venture capital unit of General Mills led a $6.5-million Series D investment round in March to benefit Farmhouse Culture, a fermented and probiotic food and beverage startup.
Ohio-based Ganeden has a lot to gain from the success of its products. The global probiotics market reached $34 billion in sales in 2015, according to a report from BCC Research. The food and beverage industry accounted for 73%, or $24.8 billion, of that market. Globally, the probiotics market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 7.3% during the next 10 years, to reach a value of about $74.7 billion by 2025.