What are synbiotics?
How do synbiotics work?
Types of synbiotic
The collaborative future for synbiotics
Looking to develop a new synbiotic product?

It’s essential that across today’s fast-paced health and nutrition market, formulators can respond to heightened consumer awareness of gut health and the delivery methods that are capturing commercial success.  

The gut microbiome, the complex and ever-shifting community of microbes residing in the digestive system, plays a crucial role in overall wellbeing.  

Some bacteria in the gut are beneficial and are known to support host physiology. Studies show their influence on not only digestive health but further afield in areas such as immune health and cognition. In contrast, there are also other types of bacteria in the gut microbiome that do not bring useful advantages.  

The term ‘gut health’, entering the public lexicon and becoming more widely accepted, often refers to the conditions of the intestinal environment. One specific metric that is often referred to is balance of beneficial and non-beneficial bacteria. Often, the end goal is to create a more favourable gut microbiome environment, with more of the bacteria that support health and fewer of the types that do not. 

As a result of this growing understanding, health and nutrition brands are exploring new ways to meet the rising demand for better gut health support. One key approach proving commercially viable is through the development of synbiotics.  

Of particular importance to nutraceutical formulators, Clasado has announced a collaborative partnership with Swedish probiotic developer Probi AB. Set to exponentially accelerate the growth of the category, the partnership leverages the substantial expertise of both businesses in their respective fields. In the following blog, we explore how synbiotics are defined, how they work, and why the partnership is of importance.  

What are synbiotics? 

A relatively new addition to the biotics category, much about synbiotics is still being explored and understood.  

The word “synbiotic” derives from the Latin “syn”, meaning united or combined, and “biotic,” referring to biological material, and in this case, bacteria. The term indicates the combination of prebiotics and probiotics in a single product. While the term has initially only described this combination, future use of ‘synbiotics’ could extend to other combinations, such as prebiotics and postbiotics.   

The category is set to see rapid expansion and the opportunity for health and nutrition brands is clear; research firm Mordor Intelligence predicts that the synbiotic category will experience a robust 8.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2027, driven by rising interest in gut health. 

How do synbiotics work? 

To understand synbiotics fully, it’s essential to distinguish between the components, prebiotics and probiotics, which both seek to support better host gut health in fundamentally different ways. 

Probiotic products introduce live beneficial bacteria into the gut microbiome. These products contain living bacterial cultures, either as single strains or in combinations, which are known to confer a particular health benefit. 

In contrast, prebiotics of the fibre kind are a specific type of dietary fibre that serves as a food source for beneficial bacteria that are present in the gut microbiome, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus.  

By including prebiotics in the diet or through dedicated dietary supplements, these prebiotics nourish the good gut bacteria associated with positive health effects, supporting overall wellbeing. One of the key differences for formulators is that, unlike probiotics that comprise live organisms, prebiotics are substrates.  

Ultimately, this type of synbiotic works by combining the benefits of both prebiotics and probiotics in a single formulation – adding more good gut bacteria to the microbiome and then nourishing those bacteria or alternatively those already present, or both.  

Types of synbiotic 

Not all synbiotics are designed to work in the same way. Industry body ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics) defines two distinct subsets of synbiotics; synergistic synbiotics and complementary synbiotics.  

Synergistic synbiotics are designed to have the live probiotics fuelled by the co-administered prebiotic substrate, allowing both elements to work together as a self-contained whole.  

By contrast, complementary synbiotics are formulated such that each component works independently, with the prebiotic supporting resident microorganisms in the gut rather than the co-administered probiotic. 

The collaborative future for synbiotics 

As a leading name in prebiotics, Clasado aims to drive market success in all its forms. With the business expanding the global footprint of its prebiotic ingredient technology, Clasado is set out to play a key role within the synbiotic category. 

As part of an initiative to advance scientific understanding and help brands access proven synbiotic combinations, Clasado is now collaborating with Probi AB, a leading developer of probiotic ingredients. Sweden-based Probi AB is a pioneer in offering a comprehensive portfolio of scientifically backed probiotics for health and nutrition formulators around the globe.  

Combining the expertise of both companies, the initial goal of the partnership is to accelerate the development and research of synergic and complementary synbiotics. Looking further ahead, the collaboration opens the path for Clasado and Probi AB to co-develop synbiotics for commercial release. 

Clasado’s technical excellence in the field of prebiotics is a great advantage to customers, and a strong competitive edge in the development of consumer-focused synbiotic products. As demand for synbiotics continues to expand, Clasado’s experience in developing the most scientifically studied galactooligosaccharide (GOS) makes it easier than ever for formulators to put gut health at the centre of their new product development process. 

Looking to develop a new synbiotic product? 

In products that rely on multiple components working together, a great finished product must have outstanding foundations.  

A highly accomplished team in the gut microbiome modulation field, Clasado has cultivated one of the most prolific scientific portfolios on the market. More than 110 published papers, including over 20 clinical trials, back the safety and efficacy of its prebiotic ingredient Bimuno® GOS, marking Clasado as an ideal partner in the development of synbiotic products.  

With the category set to continue its upswing in health and nutrition markets across the world, there’s never been a better time for health and nutrition formulators to explore the benefits of powerhouse, scientifically backed functional ingredients.