Testing Probiotics—Just the Facts, Please!

A popular question at SORA Labs is: What is the correct probiotic testing method for enumeration? Since there are so many methods available, it can be confusing to the customer to choose a method. A successful testing strategy starts by asking your supplier what method they use for enumeration. Then verify if that method is run routinely in the lab and if the lab shows proficiency with the method. This process ensures that the same method is verifying the material and offers less variance if the material doesn’t meet the label claim.

If you are attempting to verify probiotic blends, however, then more research will need to be done. The supplier, again, may have a method that can be used for quality control testing, but in many cases, the testing lab will play a larger role in determining the best method to use on the blend. This can be a major undertaking, and customers don’t often realize that they need to plan for this research and development step. This could take additional time and resources to figure out the best testing for the product.

Probiotics are also not usually as simple as just putting the sample in the box and shipping it to the lab. Communication between all parties will be needed to determine the testing protocol, when considering which probiotics are in the blend. Next, the product can be tested using one or two general probiotic methods to see which has the best overlapping growth for all the bacteria in the blend.

Because of these complexities, consideration of the test method for the product, should not be an
afterthought. Pre-planning is crucial to a smooth manufacturing process with no delays in quality control testing or meeting delivery goals. Using an experienced lab, like SORA, can also take the stress out of working with specialty ingredients. Let SORA Labs help you with your next probiotic testing project!

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