for better health
The future is now in
Probiotic Functional Foods
Today’s consumer is far more sophisticated and knowledgeable
about food than ever before. They have learned that what they
buy and eat can provide specific health benefits that go far beyond
just basic nutritional requirements. The modern consumer has
discovered functional foods.
The growing importance of In only four years, the European market for fortified and
functional foods functional foods has risen from less than € 25 billion
in 2002 to € 40 billion in 2006. This massive jump
Natural functional foods exist in virtually every food group. includes products aimed at improved digestive system,
But perhaps most importantly, foods and beverages can cardiovascular health, improved immune system, a healthier
now be fortified and enhanced by manufacturers to give brain and nervous system, bone health and beauty benefits.
their products added health benefits never before possible.
New food products are being developed with beneficial Consumers are using functional foods to increase their feeling
components that are attracting a significant share in all of well-being. In the US, 41% of all respondents indicated
segments of the food and beverage market. The market that they supplemented their diets with additional vitamins,
leaders and trendsetters have recognized that consumers minerals and other dietary supplements. Over the past year,
are learning to take control of their health through the food that figure for Europeans increased to 31%. The US market
choices they make. for nutraceuticals - functional foods and drinks with specific
added ingredients - has been forecast to grow at an annual
rate of 5.3% between 2005 and 2010. The European market
Phenomenal growth rates is expected to grow even faster. Consumers now enjoy a
sense of guilt-free indulgence accompanied by genuine
There is a vast evolution - some might even say revolution - health benefits.
taking place in functional food trends around the world.
Probiotics fit perfectly into this rapidly expanding market. Historically, much of the emphasis on probiotics has been
Functional foods in general - and probiotics in particular - found in dairy products. It has been one of the fastest
hold potentially enormous public health benefits. growing sectors in terms of launching new products.
Growing consumer concerns for personal wellness are Specialty items originally targeting health-conscious
fostering healthier eating habits and lifestyles. Consumers consumers are now generating vast appeal with the general
are looking for natural, organic and environmentally friendly public as well. Much of this appeal can be attributed to an
foods. This, in turn, is leading to the emergence of many increased level of health consciousness.
more types and brands of fortified and enriched foods.
Source: Euromonitor, Datamonitor, Mintel
What are Probiotics?
In the simplest terms, a probiotic is a living beneficial micro-organism,
it can be a bacterium or yeast . Certain micro-organisms living in the
human intestinal tract are essential for good health.
The World Health Organization defines probiotics as
“Live micro-organisms which when administered in adequate
amounts confer a health benefit on the host.”
The word probiotic comes from the Greek and means ‘fit for life’ or
‘pro-life.’ While much of the progress against disease over the past two
centuries has involved the discovery and use of antibiotics, public health
and medical researchers now foresee revolutionary progress on a similar
scale for probiotics.
Probiotics, when eaten, induce health benefits by beneficially affecting
the balance of the intestinal microflora (or microbiota). While interest in
the health promoting aspects of probiotics goes all the way back to the
start of the 20th century, scientists have made huge progress in recent
years in identifying their potentially beneficial roles in health.
There are three main attributes of a probiotic:
• The micro-organisms (bacteria or yeast) need to be alive
• The micro-organisms have to be ingested orally
• The micro-organisms must be capable of reaching the large
intestine alive, in order to have an effect on the microbial balance
and considerations for health
Probiotic micro-organisms have to be tough.
They must be able to resist the acid environment of the stomach,
have a good bile tolerance, be capable of growing without oxygen and be
non-toxic. There are only a few bacterial species that can be used in oral
supplementation and as food additives. These include species belonging
to the Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, and Bifidobacterium groups or
genera, along with some other genera of Bacillus and yeasts. These are
all naturally present in the intestine as well as in certain fermented dairy
The probiotic bacteria in the intestinal tract generate intense metabolic
activity and are absolutely essential for overall human health. Besides
promoting normal gastrointestinal functions and providing protection
against infection, they also affect metabolism and immune function.
How do Probiotics work?
The human gastrointestinal tract contains an extremely other drugs, excess alcohol, stress, disease and exposure to
complex and diverse population of bacteria. While the certain toxic substances. When this happens, harmful
majority of these micro-organisms are either helpful or bacteria have an environment in which they can thrive,
benign, some have the potential to cause disease. In healthy leading to a proliferation of undesirable or disease causing
individuals, there is an optimal bacterial balance in the bacteria. This increases the risk of clinical disorders such as
intestinal tract. However, a wide range of circumstances can inflammatory, infectious and other diseases.
upset this balance. These include the use of antibiotics and
bad micro-organism good micro-organism
Probiotic bacterial cultures in food or as supplements assist the body in re-establishing the proper
balance necessary for optimal intestinal function and good health.
Probiotics by the numbers
The sheer number of probiotic bacteria at work in the intestinal tract is almost beyond
imagining. In fact, there are ten times more bacteria working in the human gut than there
are cells in the entire human body.
• The adult intestinal tract is home to approximately 100 trillion micro-organisms
• More than 400 different bacterial species have already been identified in the intestinal tract
Barry Callebaut’s strong connection to
scientific and consumer
Barry Callebaut & probiotics: a unique combination
In recent years, Barry Callebaut has been a world leader in the scientific exploration of
the health benefits of the many previously untapped properties of cocoa and chocolate
products. Our researchers are now bringing the full force of their scientific and innovation
skills to bear on probiotics. Numerous stability and clinical studies have been conducted or
There are major challenges to incorporating probiotics into liquid chocolate and chocolate
related products on an industrial scale.
• One of these is that products need to be maintained at a temperature that does not kill
the probiotic. This requires a narrow temperature range that is lower than that normally
used, making it difficult to achieve effective mixing and proper probiotic dispersion.
• Our new large scale process has the advantage that machines can be easily cleaned. This
eliminates the carry over of probiotics when the same machine is used for making other
This unique probiotic process is a proprietary method developed and
patented by Barry Callebaut.
A majority of new products launched within the functional
food segment focus on digestive claims. New products launched within Functional Food:
weight of different type of subclaims (%-2006). (source: Mintel)
Simultaneously with its laboratory research, Barry Callebaut
has carried out exhaustive consumer research programs. 35
Using equally advanced scientific and statistical tools, 30
marketing experts have done their utmost to determine the 25
most relevant benefits from the consumer’s point of view.
In relation to chocolate, it turns out that digestive health is
one of the most important drivers of consumer acceptance.
Key dimensions such as purchase intent, believability and
uniqueness have been thoroughly investigated. Various 5
concept evaluations have also been conducted across a 0
Beauty Benefits Bone Health Brain & Cardiovascular Digestive Immune Other
range of chocolate products. Ask us to show you detailed Nervous System System
1,00E+09 Storage - at room temperature - of moulded samples Researchers in the Barry Callebaut laboratories together with
with a combination of Lactobacilli & Bifidobacteria
for the duration of 1 year Belgian universities are investigating probiotic strains and
species that can remain alive and active in the intestinal tract.
These probiotic bacteria must not only be able to survive, they
must also remain active in this intensely harsh environment.
1,00E+07 Current scientific investigations are focusing on digestive
Dark, milk and white chocolate are proven to be
stable environments for Lactobacilli & Bifidobacteria health. In this regard, our researchers are concentrating on a
1,00E+06 combination of two different strains, Lactobacillus helveticus
Month 0 Month 2 Month 4 Month 6 Month 8 Month 10 Month 12
CNCM I 1722 and Bifidobacterium longum CNCM I-3470.
Dark Milk White
We tested the viability of a mixture of coated Lactobacillus
helveticus CNCM I-1722 and Bifidobacterium longum CNCM
I-3470 embedded in a chocolate and milk matrix during
1,00E+08 passage through the stomach and small intestine.
The chocolate matrix was found to offer superior protection.
The probiotics in the milk matrix were negatively affected
1,00E+06 by stomach acidity (4-times lower end-counts), whereas
hardly any negative effects were observed in the chocolate
matrix. The survival rate in milk has been found to be
3 times lower than in chocolate. This offers opportunities
start situation after passage after passage
through through for chocolate as a superior carrier for intestinal delivery of
stomach small intestine
Survival (%) after passage through stomach In addition to the techniques employed in both their previous
120 and small intestine (in vitro)
tests and ongoing research, our teams of scientists continue
with their groundbreaking work using the Simulator of the
80 Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME). This system is
60 an in vitro simulation of the gastrointestinal tract to evaluate
40 3 times lower the effect of probiotics in the large intestine. SHIME is being
in milk than in used to evaluate the efficacy of specific probiotic treat-
20 chocolate matrix
ments. It determines if probiotics reach the large intestine
Start situation After complete passage through and how effective these are when they arrive. The test also
stomach and small intestine
Chocolate matrix Milk matrix indicates changes in the intestinal flora such as an increase
in the amount of friendly bacteria. First analysis of probiotics
embedded in a chocolate matrix show excellent results.
Health claims and benefits
Scientific studies are being conducted to demonstrate that cocoa and
chocolate products combined with probiotics can:
• Help to keep your digestive system healthy
• Help to maintain a healthy intestinal balance
Chocolate with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium
• Liquid: max. 2 weeks at max.
temp. of 42°C
• Solid: max. 12 months at temp.
Numerous applications combining probiotics and chocolate have been
developed in our Institute, including:
• Chocolate confectionery: pralines with specialty chocolate or fillings
or small tablets
• Biscuits and bakery: coatings for cookies and cakes, chocolate layers
on doughnuts, éclairs and croissants and injecting chocolate fillings The staff at Barry Callebaut is eager to help
• Cereal bars and breakfast cereal: chocolate drops in bars and cereal manufacturers develop new product recipes.
They are happy to share their discoveries and
their wealth of experience.
Several factors should be considered when
developing new applications, including:
• A daily intake of 109 probiotics is required to
obtain the health benefits.
This corresponds to a serving size of 13.5 g
of probiotic chocolate.
• Daily intake is necessary
• Products should not be heated over 42° C
after application of the chocolate in order to
retain maximum probiotic activity
• Avoiding contact with water
Products combining probiotics with Barry Callebaut
chocolate offer major advantages for the health-
• Probiotics have no influence whatsoever on the taste,
texture or mouth feel of the end product. Your
product will have the same great taste Barry Callebaut
has always been famous for.
• A long shelf life - up to 1 year - depending upon the
• Products do not have to be refrigerated
• Encapsulation for maximum resistance against
stomach acid and better activity in the intestinal tract
• Chocolate is a stable environment for probiotics
• Only a minimum quantity per day (13.5 g) is required
for optimal activity
• A wide range of applications is possible
The future is now for probiotic functional foods.
A strong and rapidly growing base exists for
probiotics in the current global food market.
• Roberfroid, M. B. (2000). “Prebiotics and and side-effects. Best Practice & Research • Aragon-Alegro, L. C., J. H. Alarcon Alegro,
probiotics: are they functional foods?” Am ClinicalGastroenterology 2003;17:725-740. H. R. Cardarelli, M. C. Chiu and S. M. I. Saad
J Clin Nutr 71(6 Suppl): 1682S-7S; discussion •Mitsuoka, T. Bifidobacteria and their role in (2006). “Potentially probiotic and synbiotic
1688S-90S. human health. J Ind Microbiol 1990; 6: 263-8. chocolate mousse.” LWT 40: 669-675.
• Collins MD, Gibson GR. Probiotics, • Picard C. Review article : bifidobacteria as
prebiotics, and synbiotics: approaches for probiotic agents – physiological effects and • References for the SHIME test
modulating the microbial ecology of the gut. clinical benefits. Aliment Pharmacol Therm The Laboratory of Microbial Ecology and
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):1052S-1057S. 2005;22: 495-512 Technology, Ghent University, Belgium
• Borriello SP, Hammes WP, Holzapfel W • Ouwehand AC, Kurvinen T, Rissanen P. 1.Molly K, Woestyne MV, Verstraete W.
et al. Safety of probiotics that contain Use of a probiotic Bifidobacterium in a dry Development of a 5-step multichamber
lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. Clin Infect Dis food matrix, an in vivo study. Int J Food reactor as a simulation of the human
2003;36(6):775-80. Microbiol. 2004 Aug 15;95(1):103-6. intestinal microbial ecosystem. Applied
• Gibson GR, Rouzaud G, Brostoff J et al. An • Cummings JH, Macfarlane GT. Role of Microbiology and Biotechnology.
evaluation of probiotic effects in the human intestinal bacteria in nutrient metabolism. 1993;39:254-8.
gut:microbial aspects. FSA 2005; ref G01022, Clinical Nutrition 1997; 16: 3-11. 2.Possemiers S, Verthe K, Uyttendaele
2-22. http://www.food.gov.uk/multimedia/ • Cummings JH, Antoine JM, Azpiroz F, S, Verstraete W. PCR-DGGE-based
pdfs/probioticreport.pdf Bourdet-Sicard R, Brandtzaeg P, Calder PC, quantification of stability of the microbial
• Goldin BR. Health benefits of probiotics. Gibson GR, Guarner F, Isolauri E, Pannemans community in a simulator of the human
Br J Nutr 1998;80(4):S203-7. D, Shortt C, Tuijtelaars S, Watzl B. gut health intestinal microbial ecosystem. FEMS
• Marteau P, Shanahan F. Basic aspects and and immunity, Eur J Nutr. 2004 Jun;43 Suppl Microbiol Ecol. 2004;49:495-507.
pharmacology of probiotics: an overview of 2:II118-II173. Review
pharmacokinetics, mechanisms of action
For more information about any of the
subjects discussed or for specific scientific
documentation or assistance with the
development of recipes, please contact
us at www.barry-callebaut.com or
contact your sales representative.