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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 2-10

Regulatory categories of probiotics across the globe: A review representing existing and recommended categorization

1 Department of Quality Assurance, Indo Soviet Friendship College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab; Research Scholar, Life Sciences- Biotechnology, Punjab Technical University, Kapurthala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Quality Assurance, Indo Soviet Friendship College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
A Baldi
Department of Quality Assurance, Indo Soviet Friendship College of Pharmacy, Moga, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0255-0857.150868

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Probiotics are friendly live microorganisms (in most cases, bacteria) that are similar to beneficial micro-organisms found in the human gut, whenever consumed, have potential to confer benefit to the health of consumers by maintaining, or improving their intestinal microbial flora and are available to consumers mainly in the form of dietary supplements and foods. All-time high interest in the field of probiotics is due to emerging probiotic industry. Probiotics are available in foods and dietary supplements, even as pharmaceutical formulations (capsules, tablets and powders) and in some other forms as well, but their claims of health benefits may challenge the traditional border between food and medicine. A number of probiotic products have been already introduced into the international market as food supplements, dietary supplements, natural health products, functional foods and many more other categories; as a result, the position of regulatory system for probiotics within existing categories become vague and quite unclear. Common terminology for probiotic products has become a necessity to achieve adequate regulatory control for discussion of probiotic-related issues among government, producers and consumers. The lack of a consistent terminology across the globe leads to legal uncertainty and confusion instead of being a direct obstacle for development of a mature market. This article will explain differences in regulatory categorizations across the globe; discuss the terms like food and drugs with a close relationship to probiotics, the problems associated with unsatisfactorily approached categorization as well as suggestive consolidations for the new categorization which will demarcate probiotics into categories explaining their nutritive claims, health claims or both.


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2004 - Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow

Online since April 2001, new site since 1st August '04