PAi Organizes 1st Annual Conference on Probiotics for Human Health

schedule 4 min read
Topic(s): Allergy Gut Microbiota
India Infoline News Service / 12:24 , Aug 28, 2012

K. Chandramouli, Chairperson, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, said, “There are a plethora of myths associated with probiotic food and their usage.

Probiotic Association of India (PAi) in association with academic partner Nestlé Nutrition Institute today organized the first ever Annual Conference and International Symposium with theme title “Probiotics for human health- New Innovations and Emerging Trends.”

The first international symposium focussed on the current trends and developments in the research, production and use of probiotic organisms and probiotic foods in health, boosting immunity, preventing disease and promoting overall wellbeing. 

The event brought together eminent microbiologists, food scientists, academicians, medical professionals, industrialists, policy makers, luminaries and students from all over the country and abroad to participate in the brain storming sessions covering different domains of probiotic research. The symposium also entailed other concurrent activities.

Speaking on the occasion,  K. Chandramouli, Chairperson, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, said, “There are a plethora of myths associated with probiotic food and their usage. The situation is further complicated due to lack of Government regulatory quality control standards for probiotic foods in India, though Indian guidelines for probiotic cultures and foods have recently been launched by ICMR in collaboration with DBT. 

The Indian consumer is in dilemma about the acceptability of probiotic foods due to gaps in the knowledge about the credibility of health claims associated with these value added products chiefly attributed to ‘lack of awareness’ on the purported health benefits of probiotics. Through this conference we aim to negate these allegories and throw light on what probiotics truly imply.”

Some of the key subjects that were discussed included, health benefits of probiotics, traditional use of probiotics to scientifically documented health benefits, Gut Microbiota and Digestive health, maternal and child health, stability and viability of probiotics in dairy foods and other formulations, existing regulatory standards on probiotic safety, efficacy and quality control and future of probiotics in India – Road map for research. The 150 delegates led event focused primarily on shaping the road map for future R&D program in probiotics on priority in the country for the benefit of the Indian consumers.

The workshop also released a consumer information booklet (guide) on Probiotics, a first of its kind initiative. The booklet provides important information to consumers on probiotics and help in removing certain misconceptions and myths associated with probiotics.

Probiotics have been traditionally used as the key dietary component of man since time immemorial to keep him in good healthy condition by protecting his gut against common diseases. These friendly bacteria, which include Lactobacillus and bifidobacteria are recognized as the latest buzzword on the health scenario across the world due to their enormous health potentials. 

The interest in these organisms has grown immensely during the last few years attributed mainly to tremendous growth of functional and health foods enriched with proven strains of probiotics and the high commercial stakes associated with such value added products at the global level.

Probiotic concept is now gaining momentum in India too with the entry of major global players in the probiotic production and it has emerged as the future potential market for probiotic foods. With the growing awareness, health conscious Indian society is getting receptive to ‘Probiotic Culture’ and finds these products very attractive bioactive ingredients by serving as prophylactics or biotherapeutics for promoting health and well being as well as management of specific diseases. The rapid growth and demand for probiotic dairy based foods is largely due to growing awareness among the consumers about linkage of diet/food with general health.