The probiotic industry is worth £200 million a year in the UK. Probiotic foods contain live beneficial bacteria and may help maintain and improve gut health, strengthen immunity, fight gastro-intestinal and respiratory disorders and even show anti-tumour effects.
One of the challenges for manufacturers of probiotic foods is getting high enough numbers of these bacteria into the intestines; most perish under the heavy acidic conditions of the stomach. Scientists from the University of Wolverhampton led by Dr Iza Radecka, have now found a solution to this problem by developing a special type of biopolymer that protects probiotic bacteria in the stomach and delivers them safely to the intestines where they can get to work.
The novel biopolymer is completely biodegradable and is able to remain intact in the stomach and continue to the intestine, where it disintegrates, releasing the bacteria. The researchers showed that beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains were able to survive in a simulated gastric juice solution for up to four hours when they were coated with the polymer. Bacteria that did not have this coating only survived for two hours. "Our research uses a novel biodegradable, edible and non-toxic biopolymer to protect bacteria during storage and after ingestion so that consistent numbers of live and viable friendly bacteria can be administered via food products," explained Dr Radecka.
The researchers believe their findings could have a major impact on the probiotics industry. "There is an ongoing debate about the usefulness of probiotics. Some data showing positive effects is irreproducible and one of the reasons for this could be insufficient numbers of live bacteria reaching the intestine. A product that delivers a consistent number of bacteria to the intestine is therefore essential," said Aditya Bhat, who is carrying out the research and is presenting the group's work. "This will hopefully lead to better quality probiotic food products that can be used to prevent or control gastro-intestinal, dental or respiratory disorders."
The new biopolymer also has the potential for clinical applications outside of the probiotics industry, suggested Aditya "A variation of this polymer can be used to increase calcium absorption in the intestine that would help maintain healthy bone structure and condition. Also, it looks feasible for the polymer to be used for administering unstable drugs that disintegrate in the gastro-intestinal tract," he said.
Laura Udakis | EurekAlert!
The world's tiniest first responders
21.06.2018 | University of Southern California
A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
21.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences