ITO Thailand Hygiene Blog

Sep 12 2022


            Potential mechanisms of postbiotics action

            Postbiotics have pleiotropic effects on human body (Żółkiewicz et al., 2020), some of the important mechanisms are immunomodulatory effects which enhance the immune system, and confront cancer, infection, or other diseases (National Cancer Institute, n.d.), infection prevention with antimicrobial effects, a study has found that the combination of postbiotics and probiotics can counteract diarrhea that caused by rotavirus (Rigo-Adrover et al., 2019), antiatherosclerotic effects or the prevention of thickening of the arteries which is caused by plaque builds up inside arteries and may lead to coronary artery disease (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, 2022).


            ‘GRAS’ or ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ is a definition which The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has used to define a substance or chemical added to food that has been recognised by qualified experts and shown to be safe under the conditions of its intended use (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2019). The applications of postbiotics are currently in an initial phase of research and development and it is important for companies to get an approval of GRAS status from FDA prior to use postbiotics. Some examples are Cargill’s Epicor®, yeast fermentate (a product made by fermentation), in various food categories such as milk, frozen yogurt, fruit juices, breads, etc. has a recommended dosage of 500 mg/serving (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2020), another example of an approved product is Morinaga Milk’s LAC-Shield™, an immunogenic ingredient made from Lactobacillus paracasei MCC1849 (Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd., 2018).

            Examples of food and beverage, and functional food ingredient in global market

            Morinaga has developed Lac-Shield yogurt flavour tablet, a healthy snack containing 10 billion beneficial lactobacillus bacteria in 3 tablets that claimed to boost the immune system, and Shield Protein Chocolate Flavoured whey protein supplement which claimed to contain 10 billion lactic acid bacteria per 20g of protein (Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd., n.d.).

            House Wellness Foods, a Japanese firm has launched products with heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 (currently Lactiplantibacillus plantarum) (Landete et al., 2021), or HK L-137, in their product line ups including yogurt-flavoured functional drinks, energy gel pack, soluble powder for drinks and soups, instant noodles, desserts, and snacks. These functional foods are supporting a healthy lifestyle because they support the human immune system and at the same time, they’re convenient and suitable for everyone (Tay, 2018).

            Benefits of postbiotics and roles the food industry

            Postbiotics provide numerous applications for manufacturers. Comparing to probiotics which require dose standardisation, postbiotics do not, so products will have a longer shelf-life, and will be easier for storage and transport as well as don’t need to maintain low temperature because they’re heat tolerance, so they’re convenient during processes with heat treatment and suitable for many products. (Żółkiewicz et al., 2020). Moreover, they’re safe to use. Postbiotics are probiotics’ by-products, so it will be less concerning for consumers with microbial related food intolerance. Postbiotics are used in functional foods (Żółkiewicz et al., 2020), and are associated with the positive effects on human immune system. Studies have found that postbiotics can prevent wheezing episodes and asthma exacerbations in children (de Boer et al., 2020; Esposito et al., 2018). In short, postbiotics are favourable for the immune system and gastrointestinal system and can be used as probiotic supplementation alternatives (Webster, 2022).

            Postbiotics is an opportunity for food industry because they’re more stable, easier for food processing, and providing solutions for existing issues in the food industry as they have no risks associated with live microorganisms (probiotics). ITO Thailand’s mission is to contribute to our customers and to society, we’re more than happy to assist you with new opportunities as well as new food innovations. 


Collins, J. (2020, September 14). Prebiotics. WebMD.

de Boer, G. M., Żółkiewicz, J., Strzelec, K. P., Ruszczyński, M., Hendriks, R. W., Braunstahl, G. J., Feleszko, W., & Tramper-Stranders, G. A. (2020). Bacterial lysate therapy for the prevention of wheezing episodes and asthma exacerbations: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Respiratory Review, 29(158), 190175.

Esposito, S., Soto-Martinez, M. E., Feleszko, W., Jones, M. H., Shen, K. L., & Schaad, U. B. (2018). Nonspecific immunomodulators for recurrent respiratory tract infections, wheezing and asthma in children: a systematic review of mechanistic and clinical evidence. Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology, 18(3), 198–209.

Landete, J. M., Rodríguez, H., Curiel, J. A., de las Rivas, B., de Felipe, F. L., & Muñoz, R. (2021). Degradation of phenolic compounds found in olive products by Lactobacillus plantarum strains. Olives and Olive Oil in Health and Disease Prevention, 133–144.

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. (n.d.). Edible Lac-Shield Series | Morinaga. Morinaga.

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. (2018, July 6). Morinaga Milk Obtains Self-Affirmed GRAS Status for Its Proprietary Immunogenic Ingredient LAC-Shield(TM) [Press release].

Morinaga Milk Industry Co., Ltd. (2022, May 2). How postbiotics are enabling innovative immune health foods and beverages. NutraIngredients.

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Rigo-Adrover, M., Knipping, K., Garssen, J., van Limpt, K., Knol, J., Franch, N., Castell, M., Rodríguez-lagunas, M., & Pérez-Cano, F. (2019). Prevention of Rotavirus Diarrhea in Suckling Rats by a Specific Fermented Milk Concentrate with Prebiotic Mixture. Nutrients, 11(1), 189.

Tay, C. (2018, November 19). Probiotics and convenience: Japanese firm launches “on-the-go” functional products. NutraIngredients-Asia.

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U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2020, February 21). GRAS notice 928, Dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast fermentate.

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Wegh, C. A. M., Geerlings, S. Y., Knol, J., Roeselers, G., & Belzer, C. (2019). Postbiotics and Their Potential Applications in Early Life Nutrition and Beyond. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20(19), 4673.

Żółkiewicz, J., Marzec, A., Ruszczyński, M., & Feleszko, W. (2020). Postbiotics—A Step Beyond Pre- and Probiotics. Nutrients, 12(8), 2189.

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