New Horizons for Prebiotics & Probiotics


We kicked off with a presentation from Rodolphe Barrangou, PhD, Professor of Prebiotics at North Carolina State University on Implementing the CRISPR craze in probiotics: genome editing for next-generation microbial solutions. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR), together with associated sequences (cas) constitute the CRISPR-Cas system, which provides adaptive immunity in bacteria. CRISPR afford DNA-encoded, RNA mediated, nucleic acid targeting, using a diverse set of Cas nucleases that yield various cleavage outcomes. Recently, the CRISPR machinery has been repurposed to fuel the Cas9-enabled genome editing craze, with noteworthy portability and flexibility. Rodolphe will discuss how these powerful molecular machines can be used for flexible genome editing in bacteria and illustrate how they can be implemented in probiotics. Specifically, he will provide examples of genome editing to decipher Lactobacillus functional genomics, and showcase how CRISPR is used in L. acidophilus, L. casei, L. rhamnosus and L. crispatus for flexible genetic manipulation.

Key Learnings:

  • Diverse CRISPR-Cas systems are broadly used for flexible genome editing in bacteria
  • Endogenous and exogenous Cas effectors have been implemented in several Lactobacillus species
  • CRISPR-based genome editing is being deployed in probiotics to develop next-generation products with enhanced functionalities

This was followed by a short presentation by Ewa Hudson of Lumina Intelligence, who will share insights on the Probiotic market. Ewa’s presentation will be about Non-classic probiotics in Americas – market overview. Non-classic strains are increasingly appearing in probiotic formulations in the Americas, with close to 30% of products already incorporating at least one type. The broader trend is driven by a growing offer of kombuchas and cosmetics with probiotics, although the next generation probiotics find their way to the supplement space too. At the same time the share of prebiotics in probiotic formulations continues to rise.  In this presentation Ewa will explore market developments in e-commerce and consumer engagement with novel pre- and probiotics, evaluating:

  • % share of probiotics on the market with non-classic strains and prebiotics
  • Consumer engagement and satisfaction with products containing novel ingredients
  • Leading health benefits supported by the novel ingredients.

Ewa’s presentation was followed by a panel discussion. Chaired by Stephen Daniells, PhD of NutraIngredients-USA who discussed the past, present and future of prebiotics & probiotics. The panel discussion included:

The panel discussion was followed by, Justin Green, PhD, from Epicor who presented on Delivering the goods: Fermenting microorganisms to produce postbiotic metabolites for gut and immune health. 

Key Learnings:

  • Differentiating postbiotics from prebiotics and probiotics in terms of identity, formulation considerations, market positioning and health benefits.
  • Exploring the concept of “whole food fermentate” and why the entire metabolic portfolio of a microorganism may be important both for maintaining a “holistic” approach to gut health and for functionality, especially in immune health.
  • Giving an overview of the clinical science behind EpiCor, a whole food fermentate of Saccharomyces cerevisiae that has been shown to work in the gut and balance immunity

His presentation was followed by a live Q&A session between the panel members, keynote speaker and chair.

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