The Importance of Good GMP in Probiotics
The potential for probiotics is luring companies unprepared for production
The probiotics industry is exploding!
Within the dietary supplements category, probiotics are expected to see over 280% growth in a span of 15 years. This growth is a result of two factors:
- The consumers’ increasing desire to live a healthy lifestyle
- Ever-advancing research proving probiotics to support a healthy lifestyle.
Everyday new studies are conducted that suggest probiotics influence everything from reducing Irritable Bowel Syndrome and lactose intolerance to improving skin health and weight management. Excitement around this research and the potential benefits has led to tremendous growth in market demand.
But there’s a catch.
Companies eager to capitalize on this demand have entered the space unprepared to handle probiotics’ unique manufacturing challenges and in turn failed to meet the quality claims made on their labels. These failures reflect poorly on the entire industry.
Though many companies are eager to join the probiotic game, UAS Labs is spearheading a movement to uphold the industry’s standards for quality and purity at a high level.
Regulatory requirements for probiotics not yet harmonized
The unique characteristics of probiotics and their diverse benefits have made them difficult to define and categorize by the FDA. Consequently, probiotics in the US are currently regulated based on “intended use”. This means that probiotics are categorized based on their application, which can range anywhere from a food, functional food, dietary supplement or a drug.
The lack of consistency goes on.
Countries around the world are categorizing and regulating probiotics differently. Due to this diverse categorization of probiotics, requirements and methods for good manufacturing practices (GMP) of probiotics have yet to be harmonized.
To remedy this and keep the industry in check, UAS Labs is working with organizations like the IPA (International Probiotics Association) to develop best practices guidelines for probiotic manufacturing. This ongoing process is being spearheaded by CEO of UAS Labs and Chairman of the IPA Manufacturing Committee, Kevin Mehring, who sees these guidelines as an opportunity to uphold quality and advance probiotics forward with the safest and most efficacious products possible for consumers.
IPA’s best practices guidelines for probiotics
In January of 2017, the IPA released their Best practice guidelines for Probiotics. These guidelines were designed to standardize labeling, stability testing and storage expectations for probiotic-containing dietary supplements and functional foods. With these guidelines, new entrants now had a resource to better understand the time, capital and expertise needed to meet probiotic standards for quality.
But it didn’t stop there.
The IPA is in the process of releasing a second, more comprehensive guide for probiotic manufacturing guidelines. This guide will include best practices for the entire food supplement process from product development and R&D testing to every step in the production process.
It is the goal of these guidelines to raise the industry bar for quality from “acceptable” to “optimal” in as many areas as possible. These high standards of quality will strengthen the benefit for the end consumer.
Probiotic manufacturing is a technically difficult process that requires proper time, capital and expertise to master. With regulatory requirements not yet harmonized, know that not all probiotic manufacturers are equal: be selective in your choice of a probiotic supplier. Select a probiotic partner with know-how, capabilities and passion to deliver a superior probiotic product.