New Chinese player enters probiotics market

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Probiotic

Fenchem says its entry into the probiotics market is prompted by global growth in demand for probiotic products in North America and Europe.

The Chinese supplier recently debuted seven “outstanding strains” ​after spending about two years researching more than 200 versions of the bioactive bacterium.

Company spokesperson, Junny Liu, told Fenchem’s Pro-Fit range will target European and American markets with strains the company says are backed in in vitro​ and animal studies although she did not provide further details on these.

“The global probiotics market especially European market is now growing rapidly,”​ Liu said. “So we beginning to move into the probiotics market now. We screened out some strains with high activity and stability through in-vitro and animals studies.”

Liu said the studies were not yet published because the company was in the process of applying for a patent.

“According to the patent application principle, we can not open any information before the patent is granted,”​ she said. “So we have no plant to publish the studies at present.”

She said small trial deals had been signed with European and American companies, but the “quantity is not very large”.

Manufacturing methods

The seven strains in the Pro-Fit range are Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium lactis and Bifidobacterium longum.

The strains are manufactured using protoplast fusion and recombination engineering technologies were also used to screen the strains and determine their biofunctions.

But the company would not provide further detail about these technologies.

Now that it is claiming membership in the community of probiotic suppliers, Fenchem has joined the Swiss-based International Probiotics Association (IPA), which counts the likes of Danisco and Chr Hansen, in its fold.

As an IPA member, Fenchem, “is authorised to join the forum for the exchange of research and latest breakthroughs in probiotic technology and new product development,”​ Liu said.

The company said the range was stable enough to be used in both supplements and functional foods and said the ingredient would target traditional probiotic health areas of gut health and immunity.

The company, which has a wide portfolio of offerings including prebiotic fibres in the gut health area, said it has three sectors of excellence for Pro-Fit:

  • selection of strains
  • high density and stability cultivation
  • high density and stability production of “live probiotic powder”

While European and American markets have shown strong growth in recent years, along with others, probiotic health claims are yet to be approved anywhere in the world except Canada, which approved a series of gut health claims earlier this year.

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