Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > USP Releases Draft Standards for Probiotics and Microbial Food Cultures

USP Releases Draft Standards for Probiotics and Microbial Food Cultures

Posted 04 January 2012 | By

The US Pharmacopoeia (USP) on Tuesday released new draft standards to "help ensure the quality of probiotic food ingredients". The standards, released 2 January, are set to be incorporated in to the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC).

The new standards- Microbial Food Cultures Including Probiotics-are contained within a new FCC Appendix and detail the essential quality specifications, intended uses in food, safety considerations, regulatory status, and purity of probiotics.

USP notes that proper identification and enumeration are particularly important for probiotics, as both are necessary to justify health claims and determine the proper intake.

"These are standards that all parties can use. With more manufacturers incorporating probiotics in products beyond yogurts based on rising consumer interest, scrutiny of health claims will grow, as will global sourcing of ingredients," said Praveen Tyle, Ph.D., USP's chief science officer. "We believe additional measures for determining identity and overall quality will be useful in protecting consumers and manufacturers alike."

The guidance also offers new proposed standards for

  • Steviol Glycosides (Stevia Sweeteners) that cover a broader range of stevia-derived ingredients;
  • Benzoates (commonly used as sweeteners) that address economic adulteration; and
  • Infant Formula, including the use of chromic chloride and sodium selenate used in baby formula

Comments are invited until 31 March, 2012.

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