probiotic coffee

The world’s first probiotic coffee

By finding a way to keep probiotic bacteria alive in hot drinks, this new beverage comes both with caffeine and a health-boosting kick. Here comes the world’s first probiotic coffee, now on sale from a US company called Tipton Mills.

The probiotic used in the instant coffee, GanedenBC30 was developed by Ganeden Biotech. It contains 10 times as many cultures as regular probiotic yoghurt. As probiotics are sensitive to temperature, Ganeden’s challenge was to find an organism that survives both heat and then the human body’s roiling stomach acids.

As Tim Sheehy, the president of Tipton Mills, explains, Ganeden succeeded. “[The probiotic] is heat stable allowing the bacillus to survive in the intestine,” he says. That stability means GanedenBC30 could be used in any number of products – frozen dinners, soup mixes, pastries etc. Coffee is just the beginning.

Here’s how the probiotic works, as explained on Ganeden’s website:

GanedenBC30 is a spore-forming probiotic bacterium, meaning that inside the bacterial cell is a hardened structure, or spore, which is analogous to a seed. This spore safeguards the cell’s genetic material from the heat and pressure of manufacturing processes, challenges of shelf life and the acid and bile it is exposed to during transit to the digestive system.

Once it is safely inside the small intestine, the viable spore is then able to germinate and produce new vegetative cells or good bacteria. Other ‘traditional’ probiotic organisms, such as lactobacillus, acidophilus and bifidobacteria are not able to form these protective spores, making them vulnerable to heat, pressure, shelf life variables and the acid and bile challenges of the digestive system.

Probiotics are key to a healthy digestive tract. The live microorganisms, commonly found in yoghurt and dietary supplements, slash the amount of bad bacteria in the gut, leaving the healthy stuff to flourish. Probiotics can prevent stomach upset, acid reflux, digestive tract infections, and according to new research, some can even help prevent the cold and increase response to flu vaccines.

Sheehy says that the coffee “aids in digestion and boosts your immune system”, but he shies away from telling people to drink it to prevent illness. But in an interview with BeverageDaily, Andy Johnson, a marketing manager at Tipton Mills, said that it’s possible the coffee will eventually be sold with health claims attached. “It really comes down to our partner Ganeden coming up with the science,” he said.

This immunity-boosting product doesn’t come cheap, though: a six-pack of Tipton Mills probiotic coffee costs $5.49.

Source: Fast Company