DuPont Nutrition & Health and Eurofins have developed and validated strain-level identification assays in probiotic testing, leading the way for industrywide product integrity and label accuracy.
DuPont, a leading manufacturer of probiotics that are scientifically proven to have health benefits, routinely utilises new technologies to improve its methods of strain identification. Eurofins will employ DuPont’s polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) genotyping assays to identify probiotics at the strain level in both raw materials and finished products.
The need for strain-specific testing is clear: Numerous studies have found inaccuracies in probiotic labelling, with issues including incorrect taxonomy, missing species and unlabelled species.
"These findings emphasise the necessity of reliable methods to determine the taxonomy of microbial populations in probiotic products," said Wesley Morovic, scientist in the Genomics & Microbiome Science group at DuPont Nutrition & Health. "However, because strain identification has not historically been required, little investment has been made to support the industry in doing so. DuPont is one of few manufacturers to share its genetic identification methods with customers and the public."
By making its genotyping PCRs available and working with Eurofins to develop accurate tests, DuPont is leading the industry toward label traceability.
"Many manufacturers understand that verifying raw materials and identifying finished products is as important as quantifying potency, for both label compliance and manufacturer confidence," said Mehgan Styke, business development manager at Eurofins. "But until now, the tools for specific and accurate identification were either inaccessible or had yet to be developed; adding to the challenge are the nuances of probiotic products. With DuPont’s strain assays, Eurofins has become the first third-party laboratory to support identification to strain level, completing our portfolio of accurate testing for full label verification of potency, stability and identification."
"Our goal is to use science-driven solutions to bring a higher level of transparency to the probiotics market," said Megan DeStefano, global marketing manager, Probiotics, DuPont Nutrition & Health, "benefiting both manufacturers, who are under increased pressure to identify strains and are able to make health claims associated with specific ones, and consumers. We have worked closely with Eurofins to develop this service and are fully confident in their capabilities."
"These methods are at a cost and efficiency in line with the current less accurate and less specific methods," said Michael Drozd, president of Eurofins AgBio. "We are excited to leverage the collective knowledge of DuPont and Eurofins BioDiagnostics to bring the industry to a higher level of transparency."