Health claim boost: Deerland expanding digestive and immune health probiotic business in APAC

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

Deerland's Bacillus subtilis DE111 has been recognised as a food ingredient under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Code. ©Getty Images
Deerland's Bacillus subtilis DE111 has been recognised as a food ingredient under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Code. ©Getty Images

Related tags Probiotics Immunity Digestion

US-based Deerland is expanding its probiotic ingredient business in APAC, with a focus on digestive and immune health, on the back of receiving a regulatory boost in Australia and New Zealand.

The company’s flagship probiotic ingredient Bacillus subtilis ​DE111 is a soil-based, spore-forming bacteria. 

In early April, the company announced that its ingredient has been included as a food ingredient under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Code, in turn allowing it to make certain health claims.

The claims include “promotes growth of healthy gastrointestinal flora”, “supports growth of beneficial gut bacteria”, “supports and improves digestive health in children and adults”, and “reduces total blood cholesterol or blood low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol”. 

The ingredient is also said to be the first Bacillus subtilis​ probiotic to have food-health supported claims associated with its use in Australia and New Zealand food products.

“These claims demonstrate how well-tested and proven the benefits are of the probiotic spore, Bacillus subtilis DE111®.

“This reassures developers of food and beverage products that their products will deliver valuable, tangible benefits that consumers can feel, resulting in brand loyalty and repeat purchases,” ​director of marketing communications Kristin Wilhoyte told NutraIngredients-Asia.

The company has been working with the isolated DE111 strain since the early-2010s and officially launched the branded strain DE111 in 2014.

In contrast to Lactobacillus ​and Bifidobacterium, ​which are live organisms, Bacillus subtilis ​due to its ability to form endospores to protect itself against gastric acid and high temperature.

Elsewhere in China and South Korea, the company also has business development teams stationed, which it hopes could help expand the its presence in APAC, Wilhoyte said.

The company has a bigger presence back in North America, where its probiotic ingredient has been incorporated into gummies and tea.

Examples include Culturelle probiotic gummies, Wedderspoon’s manuka honey range of gummies, targeted at digestive and immune health.

Being spores-forming and heat-stable, the ingredient was incorporated into tea bags by The Republic of Tea.

“DE111® is well known in North America but is relatively new to ANZ and the Asia-Pacific region, so there is enormous potential as well as significant first-mover advantages.

“Currently, we are actively supporting clients with innovative product development. There are some launches imminent that will be very visible game-changers in their categories,” ​Wilhoyte said.


More than 30 studies have been performed to confirm the safety and efficacy of Bacillus subtilis​ DE111, Wilhoyte pointed out.

The human RCTs have shown its benefits for digestive, immune, cardiovascular, children’s health, as well as sports performance and recovery.

On immune health, a study published in Molecular Sciences​ showed that adults consuming DE111 at a dose of 1bn CFU per day for four weeks could induce changes in the peripheral immune cell populations.

Another RCT published in Beneficial Microbes​ showed that children between two to six year old experienced a change in their microbiome after eight weeks of supplementation.

Specifically, there was an increase in certain bacteria involved in inflammation reduction, including Alistepes, Bacteroides, Parabacteroides, Odoribacter, ​and Rikenellaceae. 

There was also a decrease in pro-inflammatory bacteria, namely Eisenbergiella, Lactobacillales, ​and Steptococcaceae, ​in children who took the probiotic.

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