Scientists discover technique to help 'friendly bacteria'

Sep 21, 2007

There is currently a great deal of interest in the health-associated properties of probiotics, also known as ‘beneficial’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria, and prebiotics, the food needed for the growth of probiotic when inside our bodies. University of Leicester scientists have discovered a natural fruit-based extract that dramatically improves the growth and probiotic qualities of ‘friendly’ bacteria such as the lactic acid bacteria, which are found in most widely-advertised health supplement drinks.

The fruit extract is the invention of Dr Primrose Freestone, of the University’s Depar™ent of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, and Dr Richard Haigh of the Depar™ent of Genetics. The product, LabEnhancer™, is currently being marketed in collaboration with Dr Andy Lee, of Plant Bioscience Limited (www.pbltechnology.com). LabEnhancer™ elicited a great deal of interest when it was recently showcased by PBL at the International Probio2007 conference in Nantes.

As a result, over a dozen companies are now keen to exploit its potential in probiotic diagnostics, bulk culture processes and as a prebiotic supplement. LabEnhancer™ is therefore expected to have major applications in the world of probiotic and prebiotic technologies, and company evaluations are already underway.

Dr Freestone commented: ‘We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response to Lab Enhancer™ amongst the probiotic and associated industries. I’m continuing to work closely with PBL in promoting the technology and have been excited in the high level of interest that we have generated in such a short space of time. Although lactic acid bacteria play a major role in the production of many products, including probiotic yoghurts, they can be quite difficult to grow and can particularly suffer damage during their processing for use as probiotics. One of the main values of LabEnhancer™ is that it helps lactic acid bacteria to recover from these stresses therefore making them much more effective as a probiotic’.

Source: University of Leicester

Explore further: US wildlife officials propose limiting snake trade

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Essential oils may provide good source of food preservation

23 minutes ago

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that essential oils may be able to be used as food preservatives in packaging to help extend the shelf-life of foo ...

Production phase for LSST camera sensors nears

33 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —A single sensor for the world's largest digital camera detected light making its way through wind, air turbulence, and Earth's atmosphere, successfully converting the light into a glimpse of ...

Recommended for you

Smarter than a first-grader?

1 hour ago

In Aesop's fable about the crow and the pitcher, a thirsty bird happens upon a vessel of water, but when he tries to drink from it, he finds the water level out of his reach. Not strong enough to knock over ...

How honey bees stay cool

13 hours ago

Honey bees, especially the young, are highly sensitive to temperature and to protect developing bees, adults work together to maintain temperatures within a narrow range. Recently published research led by ...

User comments : 0