23 March, 2023: Leading spore-forming probiotic BC30TM improves protein absorption from plant sources, a new clinical study has shown. The findings are significant for food and beverage manufacturers in the Asia Pacific because they demonstrate the potential to offer an additional benefit in plant-based products containing BC30. There may be particular opportunities for products targeting seniors – who typically require higher protein intake to maintain muscle mass – as well as vegetarians, vegans, and athletes.
In Asia, the popularity of plant-based food and beverages has grown in recent years, with an 18 percent CAGR in new product launches with plant protein between 2017 to 2022. In Australia, it’s 23 percent1. In Asia Pacific, 3 out of 4 consumers prefer plant protein as a source of protein2, and 79 percent of women indicate a higher preference for plant protein over dairy protein, compared to 70 percent of men3.
The double-blind, randomised study was carried out over a two-week period, with 30 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 70 taking part. Each consumed a daily plant-based beverage containing 20g of protein, sourced from a combination of pea and rice proteins, either with or without 1 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) of BC30 (Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086®).
After the final dose, blood samples were analyzed for amino acid concentrations. Over the whole course of the measurement period, subjects in the BC30 group showed significantly higher values for total amino acids and total essential amino acids, as well as significantly higher than average levels of certain individual amino acids. The BC30 group also showed higher maximum concentrations of total amino acids, essential amino acids, and several individual amino acids.
Part of Kerry’s ProActive Health Portfolio, BC30 is a patented spore-forming probiotic that can be used in a range of food and beverage products. It is backed by over 25 published papers, including a 2020 study demonstrating that it supports protein absorption from milk protein concentrate.
Olivier De Salmiech, VP Nutritional Supplements, Kerry Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, commented on the study: “Previous research has indicated the potential of BC30 to support protein absorption from plant-based sources, but this is the first human clinical study to do so. We’re now able to say that BC30 supports protein absorption from both dairy and plant sources – it’s another benefit that makes it the leading spore-forming probiotic.”
He added: “One of the reasons this research is so exciting is that it’s in line with so many contemporary food and nutrition trends. With demand for high-protein products firmly in the mainstream, consumers in all groups are interested in foods and beverages that offer efficient protein digestion. At the same time, more and more people in Asia are following plant-based diets and looking for sustainable nutrition solutions. Many vegetarians and vegans – along with groups like seniors and athletes – could benefit from more efficient absorption of protein to support outcomes such as muscle-building.”
The study was carried out by researchers at the Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory at the School of Health Sciences at Lindenwood University, Missouri, led by Dr Chad Kerksick, Associate Professor of Exercise Science. A research poster was presented on June 17, 2022 at the annual conference of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). The full study was published in a scientific journal in December 2022.
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Walden K et al. ‘Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086 improves amino acid absorption from plant protein concentrate in older women’ (Manuscript in preparation.)
1 Innovation in Plant and Non-Animal Protein Ingredients, Innova Nov 2022
2, 3 Kerry Proprietary Consumer Research – The Protein Mindset 2021, n=2,153; APAC, n=499 India