Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Functionality of probiotic foods

Functional foods incorporating probiotic bacteria with scientifically supported health claims have great potential for improving quality of life and already constitute a rapidly growing European Union (EU) and export market. Europe has traditionally had a leading position in the probiotic market. Many probiotic products already exist but their impact on human health needs to be well documented in order to establish and maintain consumer confidence. Selection of strains is an ongoing task and six have been chosen for pilot scale clinical trials (ie Lactobacillus johnsonii LJ-1, Lactobacillus paracasei F19, Lactobacillus GG (L. rhamnosus ATCC 53103), Lactobacillus salivarius LM2-118, Lactobacillus crispatus M247 (cog+) and Bifidobacterium lactis Bb-12. In addition Lactococcus lactis MG1363, L. crispatus M05 (cog-), and Streptococcus thermophilus will be used as reference material. In children, the main purpose is the balancing of atopic eczema and intestinal disturbances, mainly the protection and treatment of infantile diarrhoea. In adults, the main purpose is to study the intestinal integrity using healthy adults and those with irritable bowel syndrome. The plasmid stability, chromosomal profiling and nucleotide sequences have been demonstrated. Other probiotic strain properties such as immunodominance, adhesion on cell lines, mucin and human biopsies are being studied. The fermentative properties are also being investigated as it is important to produce 'good flavoured' probiotic products with a high survival rate of the probiotic bacteria. The project will substantiate the real clinical value of probiotic products with regard to management of intestinal disorders and immune enhancement. This will be based on the outcome of the clinical testing experiments which are in progress. The other tasks are also of the utmost importance in supporting the outcome of clinical testing (ie molecular methods). The in vitro tests will get an value-added perspective when they are compared to clinical experiments.

Reported by

VTT Biotechnology and Food Research
02044 Espoo
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