CSIR-Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) sees that Bifidobacteria holds immunity potential from common cold to cancer. The institute already has two probiotic products, “Bifidocurd and Bifidobacteria enriched soya curd.”

In 2019, the institute developed curd using Bifidocurd technology. The research was undertaken by CSIR, New Delhi, under the 12th Five Year Plan project spanning 2012-2017. The institute is now aggressively looking to accelerate its talks for technology transfer.

Bifidobacteria are a kind of probiotics, commonly referred to as good bacteria that exist in the gut. Research indicates it aids in the control of intestinal disorders breaking down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off bad organisms that could cause diseases.

Noting the importance of Bifidobacteria as a probiotic and the need for Indian food and beverage processing companies to focus on it as it is indispensable in daily consumption, CSIR-CFTRI felt it was pertinent to delve further into its benefits via a recently concluded national workshop on Probiotic Bifidobacteria held at its campus in Mysuru. Apparently, the workshop was sponsored by the Probiotic Association of India (PAi).

Dr Sridevi Annapurna Singh, Director CSIR-CFTRI, inaugurated the two-day workshop with chief guest, Dr Shrilakshmi Desiraju, Probiotic IP advisor, TENSHI Life Sciences, Benguluru, and Dr Prakash M Halami, Organising Secretary and Head of MFT Dept, CSIR-CFTRI.

In her presidential address, Dr Singh, emphasised the role of Bifidobacteria in the development of the newborn child and maintaining gut microbial homeostasis in the entire life of the individual and its potential to immunise humans from common cold to cancer.

Dr Halami highlighted the health-promoting properties of bifidobacterial supplementation in the prevention of colon cancer. “Bifidobacteria colonise in the colon and lead to an array of health benefits, including intestinal health maintenance, gut microbial homeostasis, organic acid production, immune system maturation, digestion of food not digested in small intestine, suppression of pathogens and detoxification of antinutritional factors, etc.

He also mentioned that in the Indian market, none of the probiotics products are meant for colon health, since most of probiotics are lactobacilli based that colonise only in small intestines. Keeping this in mind CSIR-CFTRI’s Bifidocurd and Bifidobacteria enriched soya curd are ready for technology transfer.

Dr Desiraju noted that bifidobacteria and infant nutrition, are the 1st bacteria entering the gut of an infant born by normal delivery. Moreover we have observed the increase in demand for probiotics post-pandemic though probiotics have been a part of our life for 8,000 years.

Prof. Yogesh S Shouche, visiting professor, Azim Premji University; Benguluru, spoke about the genomic diversity of bifidobacteria and their adaptation to different environment. Dr Jayesh J Ahire, Scientist, Unique Biotech, Hyderabad, shared his opinion about bifidobacterial probiotics from laboratory to the industry.

The workshop had six practical sessions on the techniques associated with bifidobacterial probiotic supplementation. During the workshop hands-on training was provided to the participants with interpretation of results. Panel discussion was organised to interact with experts in the field of gut microbiota, prebiotics, polyphenols and mass production of probiotics. Nearly 80 participants from across the country registered for the workshop and 26 participated in offline mode. A poster presentation session was also organised for online as well as offline participants.

Participation certificates and prizes were distributed to the poster presenters during the valedictory event chaired by Dr RP Singh, Chief Scientist and Head, Department of Biochemistry, CSIR-CFTRI Mysuru.