Q&A: Expert talks postbiotic innovation in Probiotical’s Skinbac tech




CDU: What is the potential impact of heat-treated probiotic formulations on manufacturers of cosmetic products?

Anthony Almada (AA): A heat-treated probiotic would be an oxymoron. A probiotic has an internationally recognized definition of it being alive, of it being administered to a target species like a human or a dog in adequate amounts, and demonstrating a health benefit, which means a clinical trial against placebo. They’re alive, so if its heat treated, it’s no longer alive.

Then it becomes a postbiotic, or a paraprobiotic, and there’s an international definition by the same group that put out a position paper on the definition of probiotic. There is dissent among certain researchers as to the true definition of postbiotic: there’s one for prebiotic, and for symbiotic, pre and pro biotic together, but a post biotic or a paraprobiotic would be a non-viable cell, or an extract of that cell and demonstrating a health benefit.

If there is no clinical trial marketing it to humans for a topical or cosmetic personal care product, you would need have a controlled clinical trial to study data in humans try to demonstrate a health benefit.

Just because it’s dead, and it was a probiotic, does not mean that it is a postbiotic. The element that is always important, and it’s very rare, is the existence of a clinical trial against an appropriate control.

In the context of cosmetics, it’s of greatest value for a company that wants to have or impart efficacy to their product, to have evidence that uplifts a post biotic ingredient, and ideally be able to measure what goes into it.

For shelf stability, is it still there a year later, because most cosmetics are dated with an expiration date. When you’re adding something dead, and you don’t know what it is really, how do you measure that? It’s one of the really interesting innovations of probiotic development is the ability to maintain the cell, which is like a circle, and it’s still well intact.