Advancements in Prebiotics – Industry Research, Applications & Insights

By Peter B. Azmi, PhD, of GPA member company ProDigest, in collaboration with
GPA member company Roquette

According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP)1, and the Global Prebiotics Association (GPA)2, a prebiotic is:

“A substrate that is ‘selectively’ utilized by host microorganisms conferring a health or performance benefit for the host.”

This definition implies that prebiotics can include a variety of substances. The central aspects of this definition are the selective utilization by beneficial host microorganisms and the resultant health benefits to the host. This definition also opens the possibility for prebiotics to be effective in body sites other than the gastrointestinal tract and in various categories beyond food3. The market for prebiotics has been growing rapidly, driven by increasing consumer awareness of their health benefits. According to GM Insights, the North American market for prebiotics in 2022 was roughly 6.2B USD with a 14.5% CAGR4. Prebiotics are being used in a variety of food products, including dairy, baked goods, and dietary supplements. The market growth is fueled by research showing the benefits of prebiotics in gut health, immunity, and metabolic syndrome-related diseases, among others. Moreover, the expanding functional food industry and the growing demand for health-promoting ingredients have contributed to the rise of the prebiotic market. Companies are focusing on developing efficient production methods to meet increasing demand and reduce costs. The market is also influenced by regulatory developments and consumer education regarding the health benefits of prebiotics.5

Key challenges for the prebiotics market include:

1) ensuring the stability and effectiveness of prebiotic ingredients in different food matrices,

2) meeting regulatory standards, and

3) substantiating health claims with strong scientific evidence.

Of these three main challenges, ProDigest is a recognized global leader in providing innovative food and supplement companies with a one-stop-shop to substantiate a product’s prebiotic activity with high-quality research and data6. To qualify a product as a prebiotic, it is first important to understand how prebiotics exert a beneficial effect on the host and how to measure these effects in practice.

Read the full report here.