Our bodies are far from sterile environments; they have an internal balance of natural bacteria, many of which are “good” bacteria that are essential and beneficial to our body functions. Our lifestyle, diet, and pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, can change this balance and upset the numbers of naturally beneficial bacteria.
FloraFit™, a branded line of probiotics offered by Rhodia Food (Cranbury, N.J.), includes single- or multi-strain concentrates suited to diverse applications in the dairy, food, dietary supplement and pharmaceutical markets. The “superstar” strain among the FloraFit line is called Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM®. NCFM is one of the most studied probiotics on the market. It has the ability to survive passage through the gastrointestinal tract, so that it may be effective where it is needed. It also exhibits superior adherence to intestinal mucosa, has been identified as a true type A1 L. acidophilus, and is amenable to commercial manufacture. (Sanders ME, Klaenhammer TR, 2001. Invited Review: The Scientific Basis of Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM Functionality as a Probiotic. J Dairy Sci. 84(2):319-31)
Because probiotics are live microorganisms, their survival presents the biggest challenge in manufacturing and delivering efficacious products. Rhodia probiotics in the FloraFit line are processed as freeze-dried concentrates that are shelf stable for up to 24 months at room temperature. “The development of room-temperature-stable probiotic cultures is the result of the implementation of a patented stabilization process named FloraFit,” says Gregory Leyer, Ph.D., global probiotic technical manager for Rhodia Inc.
Beyond shelflife, survival of the probiotics in the gut is another challenge for probiotic products. Florafit probiotics, such as L. acidophilus NCFM, have been found to survive gut digestion and to be amenable to new and unique delivery vehicles. (Varcoe J, et al., 2002. Variable Response to Exogenous Lactobacillus Acidophilus NCFM Consumed in Different Delivery Vehicles. J Appl Microbiol. 93(5):900-6)