- Probiotics are one of many functional, healthy ingredients trends sweeping the food and beverage industry, but manufacturers may want to consider all aspects of probiotics and how they work before pursuing these types of products, Chicago Tribune reported.
- Probiotics don't affect all people or their digestive health equally, and some experts say probiotics disappear once they enter a person's digestive system.
- Extensive research into probiotics and their benefits also has not been completed or corroborated. Some may not be reliable because the manufacturers funded the studies themselves.
Gut health and the microbiome are currently buzzwords in the food and beverage industry and among health-conscious consumers. Probiotics are thought to promote healthy gut bacteria, which makes them a key functional ingredient for manufacturers to consider. Research has revealed how gut health can impact immunity and brain functions, which are more important to today's consumers than following a low-fat diet.
But if probiotics don't impact all consumers the same way, manufacturers may be wary about making the investment to create a product that contains them. If manufacturers can't deliver the benefits of probiotics, then those investments could result in little in terms of a sales boost.
Another potential issue could be claims a manufacturer makes on packaging or in marketing campaigns. If probiotics don't impact all consumers equally, consumers could contest any health-related benefit a manufacturer makes about its products. And as more consumers embrace probiotics, that threat of litigation could become even more of a reality if manufacturers don't have the science to back those claims up.