CRN and IPA Release Best Practice Guidelines for Probiotics

Washington, D.C., January 9, 2017—The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, and the International Probiotics Association (IPA), an international membership organization of probiotic companies, today announce the development of scientifically-based best practices guidelines for the labeling, storing, and stability testing of dietary supplements and functional foods containing probiotics. As probiotics are quickly gaining popularity, the guidelines are designed to ensure probiotic manufacturers can consistently create high-quality products that consumers can be confident in.

“We trust the industry will embrace these guidelines and integrate them into their labeling and manufacturing practices,” said Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN. “As more and more consumers incorporate probiotic products into their daily health regimen, we felt it was essential to develop a roadmap for companies producing and marketing these products to ensure that they meet consistent, high-quality standards.”

“We believe these guidelines will raise the bar for the probiotic industry,” said George Paraskevakos, executive director, IPA. “In working with CRN to develop this critical list of recommendations, we’ve demonstrated that the dietary supplement and functional food industry is proactive and responsible when it comes to meaningful self-regulation. These guidelines reflect the most up-to-date science and industry thinking, and will continue to be updated as best practices evolve. We should always be looking for ways to make our sector and the entire industry better for the benefit of consumers, and adhering to these guidelines is a big step forward.”

Stressing the importance of providing meaningful information to consumers, the guidelines recommend that the quantitative amount(s) of probiotics in a product should be expressed in colony forming units (CFUs). “CFU is the scientifically accepted unit of measure for probiotics. Labeling probiotic products in CFUs gives consumers the best information possible when it comes to the viable microorganisms present in the product throughout shelf life,” noted Dr. Wong.

Additionally, the guidelines’ stability testing recommendations are designed to ensure that the stated shelf life of a given probiotic product is scientifically-supported. Storage and handling recommendations advise manufacturers to consider individual product formulations and packaging, as well as storage and transport environments.