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Fraud in probiotic products

Mar 04, 2021

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. Probiotics may be utilized in a variety of forms, including dietary supplements, components of functional foods, and pharmaceuticals. Probiotic health benefits are strain specific and dose dependent, and thus it is critical to ensure the correct strains are used at the appropriate dose to ensure compliance and efficacy in commercial probiotic products. Many market surveys have investigated label accuracy of probiotic products and identified several cases of noncompliance or fraud, including the absence of declared strains, the presence of undeclared strains, and/or viable counts that are lower than declared. This chapter discusses label noncompliance and the potential for fraud within the probiotic sector, findings from previous studies investigating the accuracy of label claims, as well as methods for probiotic authentication, strategies for mitigation, and the importance of independent third-party certification.


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