Microbial Innovation Trends – Patents Review

Microbes are used by food companies for a variety of functions – from improved process efficacy to shelf-life and flavor development. But an examination of patent filings over the last 20 years shows the food industry is prioritizing one area above all others – gut health.

“The microbes present in our digestive system, forming the guy microbiome, have been increasingly prioritized in food and drink products over the last 20 years”

This reflects growing awareness of the importance of digestive health on overall wellness and microbiome innovation is now of ‘enormous interest’ to the nutrition, agriculture, health and personal care sectors.

“These products include those containing specific beneficial microbes, known as probiotics, and those that contain ingredients, known as prebiotic, that promote the growth and maintenance of healthy gut microbes.”

Cool Kefir and fashionable fermentation
Microbes have been used in baking, brewing and cheesemaking for generations. But more recently, products such as kefir (made from fermented goat milk) have become more popular.

Fermentation continues to be a hot topic, with manufacturers increasingly leveraging bacteria or yeasts to convert carbohydrates to alcohol organic acids. This can enhance the taste, texture or aroma of foods. It can also improve shelf-life by inhibiting the growth of unwanted microbes.

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Probiotics: Dairy dominates
“Our data certainly suggests that, for the period 2009-2019, dairy was the most established probiotic-related food category.”

“Probiotics are now frequently found in dried foods such as cereal and muesli, and a variety of such products is available on supermarket shelves.”

“One application related to a new bacterium, used as a prophylactic to prevent Listeria infections, in food products ranging from cereal to yoghurt.”

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Gut Health is big business
“It is perhaps unsurprising that Danone holds one of the highest numbers of dairy and probiotic related patent families for a single entity, considering the popularity of its probiotic products, including Actimel and Activia.”

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“Patents can be extremely useful assets to smaller companies looking to improve their position, by providing a competitive advantage and attracting potential investors. Furthermore, a strong patent portfolio is a valuable asset that larger companies may seek to acquire.”

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Published by RenSun Lee

Kia ora! Sustainability is at the core of my soul ever since I was a kid. I always strive to finish the food on my plate and live as a minimalist. I love to cut down on waste in order to live sustainably and harmoniously with our planet. This brings me to my passion as a Food Scientist to integrate new technologies into innovative and creative solutions to meet customer demands and market trends and to optimize products and processes for quality, savings and sustainability. To these goals, I have published a Journal on my work on sustainable packaging and patented a new Antimicrobial wash. Nothing is more satisfying than working hard and smart at the workplace and playing hard outside of working hours. I enjoy rejuvenating myself through spending quality time with my two adorable kids and my awesome soul mate and getting close to nature when possible, be it gardening, tramping or going to the beach. I also love to learn about our magnificent universe and how sustainability is working in the grand scheme of things. I strongly believe that Work, Life & Balance is the key to a healthy state of mind, both physically and mentally. I look forward to making a positive difference wherever and whenever I can. Through this Blog, I hope to catalog recent Food Trends and Food Technologies that I come across so that anyone who is interested can have access to it (articles and resources). Please use these resources at your discretion. On top of that, I would also like to share related news and technologies of the future that would help mankind advance towards a Type 1 Civilization. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share and contribute to the “Resources“. I would like to thank you in advance for dropping by. I sincerely hope that you can benefit from the recent Food Trends and Food Technologies I catalogued. Kind regards | Ngā mihi RenSun Lee

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