Prebiotics are insoluble fiber, such as Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and inulin, which reach thecolon in a fairly undigested state. It is in the colon that probiotics feed on prebiotics through afermentation process that takes place in the colon. During this process, by-products called short-term fatty acids (SFA) are produced. SFAs help to maintain vital functions of the body and producecertain B vitamins.Probiotics with Enzymes16Probiotics can be combined with enzymes that help break down food substances into simplerforms to enhance nutrient digestion. Although there is some debate over probiotics and enzymesshould be taken together and it presents some challenges in manufacturing as well, there is stillscope for a probiotics and enzymes product that has been well-formulated and manufacturedusing advanced technology.Probiotics with Multi-Vitamins17Combining probiotics with a multi-vitamin is popular but poses challenges in manufacturing due tothe sensitive nature of probiotics. Probiotics are sensitive to light, moisture, heat, oxygen. How Probiotics Manufacturers Can Provide Retailers with Reliable Probiotics Supplements The biggest challenge that probiotics manufacturers face is keeping the bacteria alive during theblending process while ensuring stability during shelf life. When combined with other ingredientsthat are equally sensitive, such as enzymes, extreme care should be taken to ensure that themanufacturing and packaging process take place in a dry environment. Any moisture may activatethe enzymes and destroy the probiotics. Microencapsulation Microencapsulation is a fairly recent technology that ensures the survival of probiotics duringmanufacturing and storage by surrounding it with an outer coating. Microencapsulating protectsprobiotics from environmental contamination and prevents accidental mixing of probiotics withother ingredients in the formula that may compromise its stability. Ensuring the Right Strain and Count The health-conferring benefits of probiotics are strain-specific. Different strains have specificfunctions in the body and not all strains are beneficial to health. Probiotic formulators must be well-versed in probiotic strains and the use of appropriate strains for the desired condition-specificfunctions. Slight variation in the genetic profile of strains could produce undesirable results. To make sure you are receiving the correct strain in your product, probiotic retailers may want theircontract manufacturers to use branded probiotics. While branded probiotics tend to be moreconsistently reliable, quality supplement manufacturers who have a competent research team andstringent quality control checks at every level can also provide reliable strains and count. Product Labels Manufacturers should print clear instructions for use on the label. Some bacteria do not survive theacidic environment in the stomach or should not be eaten with hot (temperature) food. Productlabels should also identify the genus, species and strain of the probiotics along with expirationdate.