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The health conscious consumers have started understanding and gravitating towards probiotic consumption for the rise in documented health benefits they impart on the hosts. Digestive well-being is the global obsession among the rapidly aging population. Amongst the many probiotic bacteria and yeasts available, Bacillus coagulans is one of the most robust spore forming probiotic which is in high demand by the commercial producers for several technological advantages. This mini review enlists the reported health effects exerted by this dynamic probiotic- B. coagulans and also commercial formulations containing them.
Health benefits imparted by probitoics and their roles in maintaining health and disease prevention has been an area of extensive research in the past few decades. Some of the commonly used probiotics include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, L. reuteri, Bacillus coagulans, E. coli Nissle 1917, some enterococci and yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii etc. Pandey et al.  have reviewed the major health benefits (and their probable mechanisms of action) ranging from diarrhea to cancer prevention etc. One of the nastiest technological problems probiotic fermentation industries face is loss of viable cell count during harsh processing conditions. Spore forming Bacillus probiotics remain in huge demand due to their ability to withstand the stringent processing conditions. One of the sturdiest probiotics is B. coagulans
Bacillus coagulans (discovered in 1930) was formerly known as Lactobacillus sporogenes. B. coagulans is a spore forming non-pathogenic gram positive bacteria that produces L(+) lactic acid homofermentatively. B. coagulans is a remarkably resilient probiotic that is able to withstand extreme conditions (like high temperatures, processing, stomach acids and bile) and is room temperature-stable for up to 3 years. Sporulation property makes B. coagulans the favorite of commercial probiotic producers. Various preparations of B. coagulans in powder, tablet and capsule forms exist in the market imparting several health benefits on the hosts like treatment of prevention of some diseased conditions (some are enlisted in Table 1).
The penetration of probiotics in the market is very high. Probiotic foods are available in grocery stores and supermarkets, while probiotic supplements are available in pharmacies and health food shops. Moreover, the increasing obsession of digestive wellbeing and preventive healthcare has accelerated the market growth. There is increase in number of probiotic ingredient suppliers who develop tailored strains of microorganisms for integrating with a diverse set of probiotics products.
The probiotic ingredients market is segmented on the basis of application into food & beverage (dairy, bakery & confectionery, meat & cereals, etc), dietary supplements, and animal feed. The global probiotic market is dominated by players likeYakult (Japan), Dupont (Danisco), Ganeden (USA), Sabinsa (USA), BioGaia (Sweden), Nestle (Switzerland) etc. Asia-Pacific is the largest market for probiotic products and ingredients with Japan having accounted for a major share. The dietary supplement segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR of 8.0% from 2015 to 2020. Health effects exerted by any probiotic is strain specific. Some of the commercial formulations containing B. coagulans strains have been enlisted below Table 2.
B. coagulans strains need a further characterization to rule out the speculations like causative agent for infections in patients with catheters and leading to rejections in organ transplants etc. Another lacunae in B. coagulans research is lack of large scale human trials and uncertainty of dosage amounts due to scanty clinical data. There is a need to evaluate the survival of B. coagulans during manufacturing process and storage conditions [2-12].