Lozenge, gummy, and candy probiotics are easy to consume and such formats would allow the probiotics to stay inside the oral cavity for a longer period of time, bringing about the intended oral health benefits, according to the probiotic ingredient supplier and ODM/OEM company.
“The aim is to have the probiotics stay inside the oral cavity for as long as possible, ideally for at least five minutes. Therefore, other formats such as powder and beverages are not feasible in this case,” senior researcher Dr Wen-Yang Lin told NutraIngredients-Asia.
The oral health formula contains three proprietary probiotic strains developed by the company.
They are Lactobacillus salivarius subs salicinius AP-32, Lactobacillus paracasei ET-66, and Lactobacillus plantarum LPL 28, which were isolated from the gut, breastmilk, and miso seasoning respectively.
These three strains, when incorporated into lozenges, have been shown to modulate the oral microbiota and improve oral health in a four-week trial.
Findings showed that the pathogen Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans) had reduced in numbers, alongside a higher number of good bacteria Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium in test participants who took the probiotic lozenges.
In addition, the production of salivary IgA antibody was also significantly higher in these participants. They also reported a lower incidence of gastroesophageal reflux and constipation.
During the trial, the participants had to take three probiotic lozenges per day after going through a one-time dental cleaning.
As such, Dr Lin pointed out that the probiotic lozenges, with benefits seen from the trial, could in fact, serve as a complementary therapy to dental cleaning and for addressing the problem of halitosis.
Aside from lozenges, the company has also incorporated the probiotics into hard candies and gummies to target consumers of different age groups.
The company hopes to target the China market, where there is a need for oral hygiene products, the firm found from its consumer survey.
“Probiotic products are increasingly popular in China, however, with the high level of market competition, we need to offer a product that is distinctively different, and since we found that there is a demand for oral hygiene products and fewer competitors in this area, we therefore decided to focus more on the oral health category in China.”
Other markets of interest include the US, Europe, and South East Asia.
Aside from probiotics, the company has also developed throat lozenges containing postbiotics, similarly for promoting oral health.
Postbiotics are the waste metabolites of probiotics and are considered “inactive” while probiotics are “live bacteria”.
The postbiotics, trademarked Totipro PE0301, contain waste metabolites of the three aforementioned probiotic strains. To mask the flavour of postbiotics, granulated sugar and maltose or sucralose were added when making the lozenges.
“Postbiotics include short-chain fatty acids and certain peptides which can promote the growth of good bacteria and suppress the growth of bad bacteria,” said Dr Lin.
He added that the postbiotics, being heat-killed and “inactive”, would allow the products to have a longer shelf life.
On the other hand, the company will be trialling the product’s anti-pharyngitis function in adults and children through a collaboration with Jiangnan University.