The underexposed role of food matrices in probiotic products: Reviewing the relationship between carrier matrices and product parameters

Joost Flach*, Mark B. van der Waal, Maurits van den Nieuwboer, Eric Claassen, Olaf F.A. Larsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Probiotic microorganisms are increasingly incorporated into food matrices in order to confer proposed health benefits on the consumer. It is important that the health benefits, sensory properties, shelf-life and probiotic gastrointestinal tract (GIT) survival of these products are carefully balanced as they determine functionality and drive consumer acceptance. The strain-specific effects of probiotic species are imperative in this process but carrier matrices may play a pivotal role as well. This study therefore recapitulates the wealth of knowledge on carrier matrices and their interaction with probiotic strains. The most substantiated carrier matrices, factors that influence probiotic functionality and matrix effects on shelf-life, GIT survival and clinical efficacy are reviewed. Results indicate that carrier matrices have a significant impact on the quality of probiotic products. Matrix components, such as proteins, carbohydrates and flavoring agents are shown to alter probiotic efficacy and viability. In vivo studies furthermore revealed strain-dependent matrix effects on the GIT survival of probiotic bacteria. However, only a limited number of studies have specifically addressed the effects of carrier matrices on the aforementioned product-parameters; most studies seem to focus solely on the strain-specific effects of probiotic microorganisms. This hampers the innovation of probiotic products. More human studies, comparing not only different probiotic strains but different carrier matrices as well, are needed to drive the innovation cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2570-2584
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Volume58
Issue number15
Early online date29 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • carrier matrix
  • efficacy
  • gastrointestinal survival
  • Probiotics
  • product quality
  • shelf-life

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