At a Glance Program

On the agenda this year are engaging sessions and discussions based on the latest research and science, inspiring case studies from across the region and interactive panel discussions with industry leaders. Take a look at the day-by-day agenda or discover more with the buttons below.

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Program Themes  Speakers  Register now

Tuesday 5 June


Registration from 2pm

2.30pm – First Focus workshop: Prebiotics

From early life nutrition to weight management and bone health, we explore latest developments in prebiotic research, new prebiotic ingredients and their impact on health.

Speakers include:
Liliana Cardemil, University of Chile
Monika Fleshner, University of Colorado
Anna DeBoer, Nutrasource
Rob Wotring, Greenteaspoon
Dr Brad Saville, Prenexus Health

5.00pm  – Refreshments

5.30pm – Keynote speaker

Invisible influence: The microbiome in precision medicine
Professor Jack Gilbert, University of Chicago

6.30pm – Networking reception & Scientific Frontiers poster session

The Scientific Frontiers poster session presents the latest state-of-the-art developments in all aspects of prebiotic, probiotic and microbiome science relevant to health, well-being, consumers and industry.  Posters will be selected based on abstracts submitted and reviewed by our Scientific Committee.

Wednesday 6 June


09.00am – Welcome from the Chair

09.05am – Online customer engagement – how it’s done, why it matters and the market that’s driving its importance
Ewa Hudson, ‎William Reed Business Media

Customer satisfaction is the new currency in the digital era of probiotics and online engagement the key strategy by which brand equity is built. With a limited number of officially approved health claims and little consistency between countries, peer reviews increasingly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. Ewa’s presentation provides an analysis of today’s marketplace along with valuable insights into how probiotic ingredients and their associated health benefits are perceived by consumers and can be influenced by online engagement strategies.

09.35am – IPA Committee Update

IPA’s Manufacturing Guidelines
Kevin Mehring, IPA Manufacturing Committee

Kevin Mehring joins us for a detailed discussion of the IPA’s best practice guidelines for probiotic manufacture.  The guidelines aim to ensure consistent quality and efficacy of probiotic products worldwide and promise vital support for regulatory bodies as they develop the regulatory frameworks that will govern our industry’s future.  Kevin’s presentation will reveal the detailed implications of the guidelines, how they’ve been compiled and why adherence to this voluntary code will be good for your business today and in the future.

Codex initiative within IPA
Amy Smith, DuPont Nutrition & Health

With the recent increase in consumer awareness of the benefits of probiotics, there has been a surge of products labeled as such. Despite the widely recognized WHO/FAO definition (2001), revised by Hill et al. (2014), as “Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”, many products sold as “probiotics” globally do not entirely meet this definition. As such, the probiotics industry recognizes the need and opportunity for the development of a Codex Alimentarius definition for “probiotics” together with guidance on the criteria, manufacturing, and conditions of use, ensuring consistent application at national and international level by Codex member countries. Lack of harmonization in industry standardization and legislation leads to serious issues and concerns for the probiotics industry, regulators, and even consumers in regard of quality, safety and labelling. This initiative is intended to harmonize probiotic standards at the Codex level based on current day best practices.

10.20am – Regulatory panel discussion Experts will discuss a range of important regulatory issues across multiple countries – how are the regulations changing and challenging industry in Canada, the USA, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico?

Speakers include:
Ivan Wasserman, Amin Talati Upadhye
Solange Henoud, Lallemand Health Solutions
David Pineda Ereño, DPE International Consulting
Mal Evans, KGK Science

11.00am – Refreshments

11.30am – Panel discussion – next-generation analytical tools
Advances in genetic testing of microorganisms have significant implications for the assessment of safety at the species level and efficacy at the strain level. This panel discussion will unite experts from industry and academia to explore probiotic ID testing now and in the future.

Speakers include:
Buffy Stahl, DuPont Nutrition and Health
Dr Marco Pane, Probiotical
Dr David Erikson, Nutrasource
Scott Jackson, National Institute of Standards and Technology

12.15pm – Networking and poster viewing Take time to build your network or a second chance to view the Scientific Frontiers Posters.  Your opportunity to make new contacts and investigate areas of mutual interest.


1.00pm – Lunch with roundtable discussions – Tables will be hosted by an expert from industry or academia who will lead an informal discussion on an industry hot topic. Join the table that suits you best, subject to availability.

2.30pm – Functional probiotics for personalized solutions.  From the lab bench to the marketplace
Francisco M. Codoñer, ADM/Lifesequencing

The traditional view of probiotics relies on the discovery of specific strains or combinations of strains that deliver a positive effect on gut health, which results in an overall improvement in systemic health.  In recent years, increasingly focused research has delivered encouraging results towards functional strains with the power to impact new areas of health, including skin, immunity and cognition.  This new wave of research not only reveals clues about how these functional probiotics operate in these areas of health, it also paves the way to personalized solutions for both nutrition and supplementation.  In the near future people will rely on personalized digital health data to decide the best probiotic to take, shifting the market towards functional probiotics.  In his presentation, Francisco discusses how these new discoveries will become commercial realities, moving out of the lab and into the marketplace.

3.00pm – Reducing body-wide inflammation to address killer diseases:  Revealing a new probiotic strain
Robert H Schiestl, University of California

Tests suggest that a new probiotic strain discovered by Robert’s team at the University of California (UCLA) can reduce inflammation throughout the human body and, by doing so, may be effective in the avoidance and treatment of killer diseases including cancer, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases and more.  Robert’s presentation will take us through the results of tests on laboratory mice and on humans, which demonstrate that we may be on the verge of a significant health breakthrough.

3.30pm – Human milk oligosaccharides: The next frontier for early life nutrition
Dr Johanna Maukonen, DuPont Nutrition & Health

Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) are prebiotics that support digestive, immune and cognitive health in infants. They are not directly digested by infants but are metabolized by beneficial gut bacteria, such as some Bifidobacterium species, thus shaping the evolving infant gut microbiota. In her presentation, Johanna reveals key findings from studies that investigate the impact of HMO, namely2-fucosyllactose.

4.00pm – Refreshments

4.30pm – uBiome, personalization and the impact of big data on our understanding of the human microbiome
Sara Bird, uBiome

The human microbiome is implicated in a growing number of health conditions. Since its launch in 2012, uBiome has collected the world’s largest dataset on the human gut microbiome. This unique dataset, composed of data from both citizen scientists and clinical patients, allows us to not only help individual participants learn about their own health, but also to discover novel correlations between microbiome composition, health conditions, and lifestyle choices. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence tools, the uBiome microbiome dataset will generate new scientific findings, relevant biomarkers, and personalized medicine choices to reshape clinical practice.

5.00pm – Promoting peak performance:  Identifying and isolating novel probiotics from athlete microbiomes
Jonathan Scheiman, FitBiomics

Over the past two years Harvard University has recruited and sequenced the microbiome of athletes to identify the bacteria associated with peak performance and recovery. The work reveals unique differences between the microbiomes of athletes and non-athletes, as well as bacteria that change before and after athletic events.  This has led to the identification of novel probiotic candidates with the potential to promote recovery and energy metabolism.  Based on this work Jonathan describes the specific microbial profile of elite athletes and how probiotics can enhance their performance.


7.00pm – Probiota Americas dinner

Thursday 7 June


09.00am – Chairman’s re-cap of Day 2 and welcome back

09.05am – Probiotic lactobacilli – effects on vaginal dysbiosis
Dr. Jürgen Schrezenmeir, Johannes-Gutenberg-University

The normal vaginal milieu of adult women is maintained by the vaginal microbiota predominantly consisting of lactobacilli, particularly of L. crispatus and L. jensenii. Vaginal dysbiosis is associated with urogenital infections and miscarriage. Jurgen’s presentation reviews the current rationale and evidence for the use of oral probiotics for the management of vaginal dysbiosis. A systemic review and meta-analysis demonstrates the beneficial effects on dysbiosis of a mixture containing strains of L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri and L. rhamnosus.

09.35am – Probiotics and heart health.  The emerging role of gut microbes in cardiovascular health
Dr Gregory Leyer, UAS Labs

Studies have shown that alterations to the gut microbiome affect levels of bile acid metabolism, and that a dysbiotic microbiome may be associated with metabolic disease. A disrupted gut microbiome, including a reduction of bile salt hydrolase active bacteria, can significantly impair the metabolism of bile acids and may result in disrupted cholesterol and glucose homeostasis. Currently, there is significant potential for the development of probiotic treatments that impact bile acid metabolism in concert with the microbiome field. We can now demonstrate that supplementing the human gut with bile salt hydrolase (BSH)-active probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri can bring about significant improvements in lipid profile and markers of inflammation. Gregory reveals the science behind this discovery, the development of this unique probiotic, the results of randomized controlled trials and future expectations.

10.05am – Panel discussion: Colonization, diversity and next gen probiotics

One of the great misconceptions about probiotics is that if they don’t colonize and endure then they surely cannot be conferring a benefit, but data from numerous clinical trials has shown this not to be the case. Colonization may still occur for probiotics, if the conditions are favorable, but what drives this? This panel will also consider the impact of diversity and how these factors may impact R&D around “next generation” probiotics.

Speakers include:
Dr Jordi Espadaler, AB-Biotics
Hariom Yadav, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, USA
Dr Ralf Jäger, Increnovo

10.15am – Refreshments

11.15am – Scientific Frontiers session

The authors of our highest rated Scientific Frontiers abstracts – selected by our Scientific Committee – present key findings and impacts of their research.

Authors include:
Larissa Celiberto, Sao Paulo State University (Brazil) and University of British Columbia (Canada)
Ross Pelton, Essential Formulas
Mal Evans, KGK Science

12.00pm – Probiotics as a novel therapeutic in a clinical sample of depressed patients
Caroline Wallace, Queen’s University, Canada

Current research is opening up our understanding of how probiotics can be used in the treatment of several mental health conditions, including depression.  Caroline’s presentation summarizes progress so far and provides an overview of new research directions. She’ll also take a deep dive into the findings of an exciting pilot study that evaluates the efficacy, safety and tolerabilty of probiotic supplements on symptoms of depression in treatment-naive depressed patients.

12.30pm – Probiotic supplementation of pregnant women and infants: Psychological and neurocognitive outcomes.
Rebecca Slykerman, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Postnatal depression and anxiety affect a woman’s quality of life, risk ongoing psychological problems and threaten her ability to care for and form attachment with her child.  Many women are understandably reluctant to take medication during pregnancy so, if found to be effective, probiotics could offer a safe and acceptable way to reduce the symptoms of psychological distress during and after pregnancy.  Furthermore, probiotic supplementation of children may positively impact their behavioural, cognitive and emotional development.

1.00pm – Exploring the gut microbiome in post-traumatic stress disorder patients
Stefanie Malan-Müller, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychiatric illness that increasingly afflicts modern society.  We now know that certain people are more prone to it than others, and that genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors all play a role in determining individual susceptibility.  In particular, studies have shown that inadequate immune-regulation and elevated inflation are important risk factors and that microbial inputs, in turn, are determinants of immune-regulation.  Until now, however, the role of the gut microbiome in determining susceptibility to PTSD has been little understood. Stefanie’s presentation reveals results from a new study that brings new light to this little understood area.


1.30om – Closing remarks and look to the future

1.35pm – Networking Lunch

2.30pm – Departures


Probiota Americas