There is an increasing number of health-conscious individuals who prefer to buy products that have more nutritional value than junk foods. As a result, the sales of probiotic drinks increased by 31.2% over the past year based on the data generated by the Chicago-based research company, SPINS.
But what could have led the change of heart to switch from standard sugary drinks to probiotics? Consumers have become increasingly aware of how important it is to maintain a healthy gut for good overall health. On top of that, the natural approach to digestive health is trending. With an increasing number of people opting for healthier drinks, this also pushed beverage manufacturers to find innovative ways to add more nutritional value to their products.
New Niche Created By Probiotic Beverages
Beverage makers are now using botanical ingredients to add natural flavor and nutritional benefits to their drinks. Uncommon ingredients such as lavender, lemongrass, elderberry, and turmeric are being added to intrigue consumers. They have also incorporated probiotics in different bases including dairy, grains, plant-based milk, as well as fruit and vegetable juices.
Some manufacturers have created shelf-stable probiotics that contain billions of live good bacteria that can last longer than traditional probiotics.
Backed by Science
Good stomach health has always been linked to a better immune system. What resides in the gut is a plethora of microflora that controls the release of hormones and even the body’s metabolism. Probiotic drinks are marketed as healthy drinks that can help in weight loss, depression, and solve allergy problems.
The results of the extensive research involving probiotics have been used by beverage companies to create exceptional drinks. But aside from using probiotics, beverage companies are also interested in using fiber to boost the nutritional value of their products.
For instance, studies have indicated that the use of chicory root can feed the normal microflora bacteria in the gut. According to Carol Lowry, Cargill’s senior food scientist, chicory root can enhance the growth of lactobacillus in the gut thus maintaining the neutral balance of the gut. This is the reason why beverage manufacturers are also looking into using chicory roots in making powdered beverages, flavored water, smoothies, and juices. Even coffee has been seen as a marketable product that may possibly contain chicory roots.
While the industry of probiotics has a huge market potential, food scientists are still facing a huge obstacle to creating beverages that are still tasty and can withstand higher temperature without destabilizing its structure.
Inspired by www.bevindustry.com