What we eat nourishes our bodies and the trillions of microbes in our digestive tract. It has been estimated that about 70% of our immune system is located in the digestive tract.1
“Prebiotics are emerging as the next super ingredient for digestive health”, says Deb Anderson, Director of New Market Development - Innovation at DSM. “With 29% of Americans already aware of the linkage between prebiotics and healthy digestion and the microbiome, industry reports predict a 44% growth spike in awareness through 2025.”2
According to Nate Matusheski, Ph.D., Global Science Lead for Personalized Nutrition and Dietary Supplements at DSM, “The increased consumer interest in gut health is well founded. Scientific research on the gut microbiota has dramatically expanded over the past two decades, with the advent of new sequencing technologies and advances in data analysis. However, researchers are still only beginning to understand the importance of our microbiome to our health in areas that go far beyond digestion. For example, emerging evidence suggests that our mood, and even our brain structure, may be associated with the bacterial composition of our microbiome.”3
The prebiotics category is growing rapidly in the food and beverage market. As consumers become more interested in digestive health products, manufacturers are introducing products featuring prebiotic ingredients. According to a Markets and Markets report, the global Prebiotic market is projected to grow from $4.07 billion in 2017 to $7.37 billion by 2023 with an annual growth rate of 10.4%. Factors driving market growth for prebiotics include increased consumer interest in health and wellness, including digestive health, along with increased investment in scientific research focused on the microbiome that includes prebiotics, according to Steve Hanson, Sr Vice President, Sales at Prenexus Health.
The food, beverage and dietary supplement industries have adapted to this consumer interest and have started focusing on digestive health in various ways. Last June’s Probiota Americas conference featured a prebiotic workshop sponsored by Prenexus Health. This November’s Supply Side West will feature a session on prebiotics. Due to the growing interest, the Global Prebiotic Association was recently formed to help further education and engagement in the digestive health space. DSM recently strengthened its portfolio in the gut health space by partnering with Prenexus Health to market AmpliVida, a selective and pure xyloligosaccharide (XOS) derived from locally grown sugar cane extract.
With increased awareness of prebiotics, sometimes their role is confused with probiotics. According to prebiotics.com while probiotics are live, good bacteria, prebiotics are the food for these bacteria and for the good bacteria already present in the digestive system. Prebiotics are non-digestible ingredients that selectively promote the growth of friendly bacteria resulting in a health benefit.
To learn more about incorporating prebiotics into your food or beverage product, contact DSM at [email protected].
1Vighi G., et al, Allergy and Gastro System; NIH, 2008
2Grandview Research Dietary Fibers Market Analysis by Source (2014-2025est)
3Tillisch et al. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2017;79:905.