The probiotics industry is booming with many applications in food products and nutritional supplements. The ever-increasing demand for high quality probiotics has forced the industry to improve methods for measuring these beneficial bacteria more accurately. Traditional methods including quantifying colony forming units (CFUs) of probiotic bacteria in plate-based assays, but these assays were slower and could not account for viable, non-culturable cells (VBNCs), which are a key readout for a probiotic’s functional potential.
Now, probiotic enumeration by flow cytometry is becoming the industry standard. This type of probiotic enumeration can measure all viable cells, including those in the VBNC state. Probiotic enumeration by flow cytometry is also more accurate compared with plate-based measurements, and results are ready within hours, not days. Flow cytometry-based probiotic enumeration can also be adapted easily to measure multiple bacterial strains in a single assay, whereas plate-based assays may require specialized growth media for different strains.
If you are working in the probiotic field, consider working with contract research organizations that have expertise in probiotic enumeration by flow cytometry. These experts can develop validated assays that provide reliable data that can be scaled up to meet all of your probiotic enumeration needs.