Freising, Germany—A team of scientists from Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) in Germany have published data supporting an energy- and cost-efficient manufacturing process that maintains probiotic stability.

Many manufacturers freeze-dry probiotics for stability and then use heat to create remove excess water, which can kill some bacteria and take a lot of energy. The TUM researchers investigated a gentle low-temperature vacuum drying process that keeps the product in a liquid state and uses 40% less energy than lyophilization. When testing the vacuum-drying process on Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei, Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus and Bifidobacterium lactis, the team found that survival rates were comparable with or better than freeze-drying. The team also believes that altering the cultivation conditions before processing can change the bacterial cell membranes, thus better protecting it from the environment.

The data are published in the Journal of Biotechnology.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2011 (online 7/20/11)