Rising consumer acceptance and a blooming body of scientific evidence are helping to make probiotics an “it” ingredient for 2011—despite the health claims struggles the healthy bugs currently face in Europe. Major ingredient players in the world of probiotics include Chr Hansen, Danisco, Institut Rosell Lallemand, Nebraska Cultures, UAS Labs and Ganeden Biotech. Thanks to a growing portfolio of patents, some serious scientific investment and a focus on working with small, nimble food partners, the latter of this group—Ganeden Biotech—has been particularly successful in licensing its patented probiotic bacteria, GanedenBC30, for use in a wide range of commercial food and beverage applications, medical foods, nutraceuticals and animal health industries. As this product gallery shows, GanedenBC30 can now be found in everything from pizza to pet treats to chocolate milk to pasta.

GanedenBC30’s characteristics certainly make it an attractive probiotic ingredient for food and beverage manufacturers. According to the company, GanedenBC30 (the trademarked brand name of the patented strain of the bacteria Bacillus coagulans GBI-30, 6086) withstands high temperature processes such as baking and boiling, low temperature processes such as freezing and refrigeration and high pressure applications like extrusion and roll forming.

The secrets to success for Ganeden Biotech

Still, the ingredient itself is only a piece of Ganeden Biotech’s success. NewHope360 spoke with Mike Bush, the company’s vice president of business development, to uncover the secret behind Ganeden’s ability to forge partnerships with such a wide range of companies. Here’s what we learned:

Focus on the innovators. Striking a deal with a large food company may mean a huge sale for an ingredient company, but landing a partnership with these huge and complex organizations takes time—a lot of time. “When we work with a traditional food company, the product development timeline is three to five years,” Bush says. “For this reason, we go after the smaller, more nimble players.” These more entrepreneurial companies are often the innovation engines for the food world, providing proof of concept for the larger players, Bush adds. “Once we get a product launched with a smaller company, then the big companies realize they can do it to.”

Lead the development process.“Our main goal is to make it as easy as possible to work with us,” Bush explains. This is why Ganeden Biotech does all of the product development testing for potential clients—a process that is typically expedited by years of experience testing the very versatile GanedenBC30 in a large range of food and beverage products. “If you can mix powder into your product, you’re good to go with GanedenBC30,” Bush says.

Support ingredient with research and patents.Ganeden Biotech has been working on its GanedenBC30 ingredient since 1996. The company has spent more than $20 million on research and earned more than 100 patents for the ingredient. Bush says new research projects are going on all the time, including six current clinical trials. “We have spent a ton of money to really understand the clinical benefits of this ingredient and its many applications,” Bush notes. “Our clients reap the rewards of those years of investment.”

Take the ingredient to consumers.Rather than focusing only on those foods that traditionally contain probiotics, Ganeden Biotech has aggressively pushed the application boundaries for GanedenBC30. “We think probiotics should be part of people’s everyday lifestyle and something they can benefit from without having to create new dietary habits,” Bush says.  “The hot trend today is to make the things people are already consuming healthier. That is where we see the most pickup from industry.”

Look beyond the United States. Ganeden Biotech currently generates about 90 percent of its revenues from the United States—but this likely won’t be the case in the future. Bush says the company is seeing growing demand from companies in Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe.

Don’t take no for an answer. At least not in the beginning, Bush says. “We are tenacious about staying after people.” The results of such tenacity are evident in the growing range of products that now feature GanedenBC30.

Where is GanedenBC30? Check out this product gallery to find out.