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Chr Hansen targets fresh juice with pellet probiotic that can live 10 weeks

By Shane Starling , 24-Nov-2011

Danish probiotics giant Chr Hansen today launched probiotic pellets into a “big gap” in the global juice market for long-life probiotics, with carton maker, TetraPak onboard to deliver the technology.

The company told NutraIngredients a proprietary process permitted “direct inoculation with frozen pellets into the juice” rather than the typical fermentation process required to keep probiotics active in matrices like juice products.

“Our scientists have been working on this for 3-4 years and we have been receiving requests from juice makers for this for 7-8 years,” Marie Tutein Brenoee said.

“Our tests show survival of the strain for 8-10 weeks in juice products which is longer than anyone has yet achieved. We are very excited about this as we have accomplished a very difficult task.”

The juice-specific strain from the Lactobacillus family has been dubbed ‘L. Casei 431 Juice’, and is being linked to immunity benefits even though the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has yet to approve such claims from L. Casei or any other probiotic strain.

But new European Union claim submissions were in-process, scientific affairs director, Birgit Michelsen said, who noted the launch was global and not all jurisdictions were as strict as Europe’s for health claim substantiation.

TetraPak has developed a system that permits addition of the probiotic pallets to juices between the pasteurisation and bottling phases of production, Brenoee relayed.

Probiotic researcher, Dr Bruno Pot, from the Pasteur Institute in Lille, France, said he was not surprised such a long shelf-life had been achieved.

“Much research has indicated how long some strains can survive, especially Lactobacilli, which has shown itself to be highly resistant in many mediums, even alcohol,” Pot said.

Probiotic juice landscape

Others in the probiotic juice market include Swedish dairy, Skanemejerier, which has a probiotic juice called ProViva, which Danone bought into in the summer of 2010. Finnish dairy group Valio has a probiotic juice called Gefilus.

Arla Ingman Oy Ab also has a 100 per cent BioGaia-supplied probiotic juice under the Rela brand that has been on-market in Finland since 1999.

Danisco is also active in the sector since early 2010 when it launched a Bifidobacteri strain tests showed could live 40 days at 4 degrees celcius.

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