Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeNutrition & FormulationIngredients & AdditivesPostbiotics: The New Generation of Functional Petfood Ingredients

Postbiotics: The New Generation of Functional Petfood Ingredients

Man feeding his dog

Pet products with wellness benefits are increasingly of interest to pet owners who are taking a more proactive approach to their pet’s holistic health and well-being. According to Mintel, Biotic ingredients are gaining in the pet category across global product launches, with prebiotics currently leading adoption trends. Postbiotics are the next generation of biotics, steadily emerging in the field.

An Introduction to Postbiotics

Although the term is relatively new, postbiotics have been studied for over 20 years. Recently a consensus on the definition and scope of postbiotics was established. ISAPP defines a postbiotic as “a preparation of inanimate microorganisms and/or their components that confers a health benefit on the host.”

Various types of postbiotics exist, such as yeasts (e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae, S. boulardii) and filamentous fungi (e.g., Aspergillus oryzae). Bacteria-derived postbiotics include lactic acid bacteria (e.g., Lactiplantibacillus (formerly Lactobacillus) reuteri, L. acidophilus), bifidobacteria (e.g., Bifidobacterium lactis, B. longum), bacilli (e.g., Bacillus coagulans), functional gut anaerobes (e.g., Akkermansia muciniphila, Eubacterium hallii, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii.) and gram-negative bacteria (e.g., Escherichia coli Nissle 1917).

Research indicates that postbiotics deliver their benefits through five main mechanisms of action, which in some cases could be similar to those known for probiotics and might act independently or in combination.

The mechanisms of action for postbiotics are:

Beneficial impact on resident microbiome through molecules present in postbiotics (e.g., lactic acid, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), quorum sensing, adhesins).

Support for the barrier role of gut epithelium through molecules present in postbiotics (e.g., secreted proteins, exopolysaccharides, SCFAs).

Impact on local and systemic immune response by the interaction of lipoteichoic acid, peptidoglycan, β-glucans, lipopolysaccharides or metabolites with specific immune receptors (e.g., indole derivatives of tryptophan, histamine, SCFAs). Impact on systemic metabolism by the metabolites or enzymes present inside and on the surface of the inactivated microorganisms in the postbiotics.

Signaling via the nervous system by neurotransmitters present in postbiotics (e.g., serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)) and which have the potential to affect behavior and cognitive function in animals and humans.

The Drivers of Postbiotics adoption

Postbiotics are an exciting development for both the human and animal nutrition segments. Recent market research of the human nutrition industry predicts that the total business-to- business global microbiome category, which includes prebiotic and probiotic ingredients for foods, beverages and dietary supplements, will have a CAGR of 8.6% during 2022-2027. Postbiotics are an ingredient to watch, complementing established solutions like prebiotics and probiotics. Additional market research shows that postbiotics for human nutrition are predicted to have a CAGR of 9.3% during 2021-2026.

Compared to probiotics, postbiotics can be more easily incorporated into petfood products because formulators don’t have to make adaptations for live colony forming units (CFUs). Postbiotics have an inherent stability to withstand many industrial processes and shelf-life requirements. This characteristic also makes postbiotics suitable for geographic regions that lack reliable cold chains or where ambient temperature can cause problems for storage of probiotics.

Clinical evidence indicates postbiotics, particularly bacteria- derived postbiotics, are promising ingredients to support human and animal physiology. ADM researchers are focusing on bacterial strains belonging to bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and others to explore potential benefits ranging from digestive health, metabolic health, immune function, oral health, skin and coat health, and mental well-being. ADM’s portfolio of microbiome solutions is supported by extensive research that demonstrates biotic benefits associated with multiple human health areas. Clinical trials with pets are ongoing.

For example, ADM’s BPL1TM (Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CECT8145) strain and its heat-treated counterpart have shown to target factors relevant to metabolic health in humans. A published clinical trial of the postbiotic in adults showed emerging evidence that it supports reduction of visceral fat and a healthy waist circumference in combination with diet and exercise. In addition, a pre-clinical model of heat-treated BPL1TM demonstrated increased lean mass and ameliorated metabolic syndrome in cafeteria-fed obese rats. Furthermore, preliminary analyses show that the heat-treated version of ADM’s probiotic BPL1TM modulated the gut microbiome of dogs supplemented with the postbiotic.

Postbiotic Applications in Pet Nutrition

Today’s pet owners are actively seeking customized solutions to support their pet’s physical and behavioural health. More than 40 percent of global pet parents say they use nutrition products to support their pet’s wellness. Many consumers scan labels for claims like “clinically tested,” “scientifically studied” and “vet recommended” as evidence of a product’s effectiveness. Additionally, 60 percent of global pet owners say branded health ingredients in pet products are important, as many perceive them as more likely to be supported by clinical evidence.

With a growing body of research indicating the wellness benefits of postbiotics, it makes sense that their adoption in pet products is increasing across every region in the world. Notably, heat-treated BPL1TM is one of the ingredients in an all-in-one daily supplement for dogs. It also has applications in baked dog treats and other pet products.

Yet postbiotics are still considered quite novel. Pet owners in Europe and other regions are used to receiving messages about the benefits of “live and active bacteria,” or probiotics. However, they are likely unfamiliar with the concept of “inanimate bacteria,” or postbiotics.

It will be important for pet nutrition brands to help educate pet owners about why they should believe in postbiotics and the benefits they can deliver to dogs and cats. Many consumers want to see a visible benefit, whether that’s weight loss, a shiny coat or a return to normal bowel movements. Physical evidence that a product supports the pet’s digestive health (or another concern) may be the best “proof” to engage them with postbiotic solutions.

Article contributed by Ramona Cernat, S&T Director, Health & Wellness & Gustavo Zenaide, Vice President, Pet & Animal Well-being, ADM, USA


Most Popular

- Advertisment -

Recent Comments