Want To Buy Refrigerated Probiotics? 3 Things To Check.

We all swear by the benefits of probiotics1. The living gut-friendly microorganisms restore gut microbiota. While people becoming more health-conscious has given a boost to the probiotic market. Refrigerated probiotics2 are the term in circulation that perplexes the mind and how it is different from other probiotics.

These gut microbiota or gut flora have a triple defensive effect. 

  • They eliminate disease-causing pathogens.
  • Maintain intestinal epithelium ( layer formed by columnar epithelial cells).
  • It helps in metabolizing indigestible compounds present in foods.
refrigerated probiotics
image source: Alicia Harper / pixabay

1. What are Probiotics and Their Working?

The word probiotic means “for life.” There are numerous health benefits of probiotics. Apart from making your gut healthy, they have other health benefits also.

They maintain a community of good bacteria in your gut. It boosts immunity. A few health benefits of probiotics are

  • Enhance the number of good bacteria.
  • Works wonder in diarrhea and constipation.
  • Probiotics can also improve mood.
  • Probiotic strains help in weight loss.
  • Certain probiotic strains help in checking cholesterol and keep your heart healthy.
  • Selective strains may relieve eczema and skin allergies.

2. Why Does There Need to Refrigerate Probiotics?

Why one needs to refrigerate probiotics is a common query. Probiotics need lower temperatures to slow the multiplying process. It positively increases the shelf life of probiotics.

Probiotic bacteria go through phases starting from:

1. Lag phase or bacteria in the dormant stage are not multiplying.

2. Exponential phase or probiotic bacteria multiplicate in this phase and are sensitive to the harmful ambiance. They use available nutrients and also produce waste.

3. The static phase where only slight changes occur when available nutrients are almost exhausted or used.

4. The death phase is when good bacterias start dying off.

Refrigeration stops or holds these good bacteria in the lag phase itself to avoid deterioration and growth before entering your gut.

Where some probiotics require refrigeration while others do not work because of lyophilization3, the shelf-friendly probiotics went through the process of freeze-drying or lyophilization.

It is a technique used to preserve probiotics and bifidobacteria. After, this process the end product doesn’t require refrigeration and makes it shelf-stable.

Freeze-drying helps in making shelf-stable probiotic powders.

3. Are Refrigerated Probiotics More Beneficial?

refrigerated probiotics
image source: Karley Saagi / Pexels

Refrigerated probiotics are the same as others that are shelf-stable. The strains present in probiotics decide whether to refrigerate them or not.

To Prevent fouling of probiotics4, it is preferable to store them away from the heat in a cool and dry place.

To prevent these good bacterias die before they can do something good in your intestine, they are refrigerated.

If using shelf-stable probiotics, avoid exposing them to heat above 70F or 21° C.

The shelf-stable probiotics use the freeze-drying technique to make them shelf-stable.

NOTE; It is necessary to check the pack of probiotics to know whether to refrigerate them or not.

 Also, use them before the best mention to avoid any health issues.

4. The Common Strains Present in Probiotics.

Lactobacillus acidophilus, casei, bifidobacterium5, or b. bifid and saccharomyces are the strains present in probiotics.

4.1 Natural Sources of Probiotics 

The natural source of lactobacillus is yogurt, sourdough bread, and fermented dishes like kimchi (fermented cabbage dish) and sauerkraut.6

natural probiotics
image source : bourree /pixabay

Casei helps in managing digestive woes like diarrhea, constipation, IBS, and IBD. Casei can be taken naturally in the form of fermented milk and some cheese.

Bifidobacterium or B. bifidum are present in buttermilk, kefir, and certain wines.

4.2 Sources of Probiotic Supplements or Dietary Supplements

refrigerated prrobiotics
image source: Anna Shevets / Pexels

Probiotics are available as dietary supplements in different forms, for example, powder, capsule, and liquid in a bottle. Many probiotics contain mixed cultures of microorganisms. Instead of using a single strain, they use multiple strains.

5. 2 Things That Kill Gut-Friendly Bacterias in Probiotics

5.1. High Temperature Or Heat 

High temperature or heat can kill all those good bacteria present in your probiotic. As the temperature goes beyond 70° F, it can harm the live microbes in probiotics.

The ideal temperature that supports probiotic survival is between 36- 39°F.

Research of the effect of refrigeration on the vitality of probiotics present in yogurt shows Bifidobacterium lactis has the highest viability when stored at 8°C. The other L. acidophilus shows the highest viability at 2°C. 

According to another study, probiotics are effective even when stored at 28° C to 32°C room temperature in warm countries. 

5.2. Humidity

The moisture present in the air stimulates the bacteria and, degradation starts. We intend it to happen after you consume probiotics. It is to take place in the intestine.

Humidity expedites the bacteria’s growth in the lag phase and transits into the growth, static, and death phase.

So to avoid exponentially speedy germination refrigerating, probiotics are recommended.

6. Things to Check If You are Planning to Buy Probiotics

1. Every probiotic strain works differently. Choose a strain, as per your requirement.

Suppose you are buying probiotics for special requirements. Then you must check the type of strain present in available probiotics. Every strain may not serve your purpose.

If you are looking for gut woes, bifidobacterium can serve your purpose.

2. Colony-forming units or CFUs

The number of living microorganisms present in probiotics refers to CFU or colony-forming units.

It is utmost to check the number of CFUs to ascertain their effectiveness. Generally, probiotics contain 10 billion to up to 50 billion or more colony-forming units.

Look for a probiotic bottle with the label of having a minimum of 10 billion CFUs.

3. Number of the alive organism

Are you planning to buy a probiotic? Check for the number of living organisms present in it. Only living organisms can do good to your gut flora.

7. Refrigerated Probiotics in Nutshell.

As stated above, refrigerated probiotics are not superior to shelf-stable probiotics. Both are equally effective.

The main thing to check is that the strains should be as per requirement and the number of CFU present.

Are you still thinking about whether to go with refrigerated probiotics or not? Well, it depends on your need and the stain you are choosing.

If you are planning a trip buy shelf-stable probiotics as refrigeration could be an issue during traveling.

To get the best out of probiotics, choose strains that your body requires.

To read more interesting articles, click here.

8. FAQs

Q. What is the shelf life of refrigerated probiotics?

Based on the formulation, packaging, and particular strains utilized, the shelf life of refrigerated probiotics varies. To get the most out of the product, it’s crucial to check the expiration date on the container and utilize it before that time.

Q. Are refrigerated probiotics superior to non-refrigerated probiotics?

Refrigeration isn’t always a sign of supremacy when it comes to efficiency. If they include healthy and well-researched bacterial strains, probiotics, whether they are refrigerated or not, can have positive effects on health. The secret is to select a recognized brand with proven efficacy.

  1. Goldin, Barry R. “Health benefits of probiotics.” British Journal of Nutrition 80.S2 (1998): S203-S207. ↩︎
  2. Mortazavian, A. M., et al. “Effect of refrigerated storage temperature on the viability of probiotic micro‐organisms in yogurt.” International Journal of Dairy Technology 60.2 (2007): 123-127. ↩︎
  3. Wang, Wei. “Lyophilization and development of solid protein pharmaceuticals.” International journal of pharmaceutics 203.1-2 (2000): 1-60. ↩︎
  4. Shu, Neh Nyong, et al. “Probiotic strategy for biofouling control through direct injection of quorum-quenching bacteria into membrane bioreactors.” Chemical Engineering Journal 438 (2022): 135572. ↩︎
  5. Konieczna, Patrycja, et al. “Portrait of an immunoregulatory Bifidobacterium.” Gut microbes 3.3 (2012): 261-266. ↩︎
  6. Holzapfel, W., U. Schillinger, and H. J. Buckenhüskes. “Sauerkraut.” Handbook of fermented functional foods (2003): 343-360. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *