Copper Moon’s new French Vanilla Cappuccino K-Cups with BC30 are understood to be the first products utilizing K-Cup technology to contain a probiotic.
Ganeden, which hit the headlines last week after joining forces with Garden of Flavor to launch the first HPP-treated juices to contain probiotics, was also the first to introduce probiotics to instant coffee in January 2013 following a deal with Tipton Mills, and has since developed instant coffee products with Copper Moon as well.
However, getting BC30 into brewed coffee via a K-Cup presented different challenges, senior VP Michael Bush told FoodNavigator-USA.
“It depends if the company is using a filter or extracts. If the beverage is going through a mesh, the holes need to be big enough to allow the organism through but not the coffee grounds. However, a lot of K-Cup products are more like instant coffee, things like cocoa, soup, some cappuccino products and so on, so this is not an issue.”
Ganeden BC30 now in coffee, tea, frozen yogurt, bars, meal replacements, sports nutrition products…
Coffee is an ideal delivery system for probiotics as it is a product people consume every day, and habits don’t need to change to get a regular dose, said Bush. It therefore requires little effort on the part of the consumer to trade up to a brand with added benefits.
“We’re in discussions with a lot of companies in the coffee and tea market after working with well-known brands such as Bigelow Tea and the Republic of Tea. But we’re seeing interest across the board in everything from sparkling probiotic drinks such as Kevita to frozen yogurt (Red Mango), bars, meal replacements, sports nutrition products and snacks.
“One interesting company we’re working with is incorporating BC30 into organic kale chips. The only area we are not able to get into is really UHT shelf stable beverages.”
Strong double-digit growth
Sales are growing “well into the double digits year on year” he said, with 14 new products containing BC30 launching in the first quarter of this year alone compared with 18 for the whole of last year, and some very big names now on board including Post Foods with its Great Grains product featuring BC30.
As regards the claims used on finished products, an area that has created legal headaches for some food companies in recent years, all customers are different, with some wanting to focus on digestive health, some on immune health and some just on the fact they are using a probiotic that is branded, recognized and trusted, he said.
“But we make it clear you have to have the right dose. GanedenBC30 has been shown to support immune health at 500 million CFUs (colony forming units) and digestive health at one billion CFUs.”
Boiled, baked, frozen, pasteurized and extruded
As BC30 can withstand harsh processing techniques and extremes of temperature (it can be boiled, baked, frozen, pasteurized, microwaved and extruded and go on to survive stomach acid and move to the gut where it starts multiplying and proliferating), this has opened up a raft of food applications previously closed to probiotics, from hot tea and coffee to muffins, jam, soup, frozen yogurts, HPP-treated juices and cereal bars, he added.
“BC30 spores have been shown to survive at very acidic pH levels and in products with a shelf-life of more than two years.”
The resilience of BC30 is not due to clever encapsulation techniques, but relates to the bacterial strain itself, which is a spore-forming bacterium. This means that inside the bacterial cell is a hardened structure, or spore, a bit like a seed.
This safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressure of manufacturing processes, stomach acid and bile. Once it is inside the small intestine, the viable spore is then able to germinate and produce new vegetative cells or ‘good’ bacteria.
In contrast, traditional probiotic organisms such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria are not able to form these protective spores, making them vulnerable to heat, pressure and acidity and typically restricting their use to short shelf-life chilled foods, said Bush.
85 products, from Great Grains to Red Mango
BC30 - a patented organism that is FDA-GRAS and backed by 17 published studies showing safety and efficacy - is now in more than 85 foods and beverages from Red Mango Yogurt to Great Grains Cereal, Garden of Flavor Juices, Naked Pizza, Bigelow Teas and Dairy Balance milk from Foster Farms Dairy.