The fruit extract is the invention of Dr Primrose Freestone, of the University's Depar™ent of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation, and Dr Richard Haigh of the Depar™ent of Genetics. The product, LabEnhancer™, is currently being marketed in collaboration with Dr Andy Lee, of Plant Bioscience Limited (www.pbltechnology.com).
LabEnhancer™ elicited a great deal of interest when it was recently showcased by PBL at the International Probio2007 conference in Nantes. As a result, over a dozen companies are now keen to exploit its potential in probiotic diagnostics, bulk culture processes and as a prebiotic supplement. LabEnhancer™ is therefore expected to have major applications in the world of probiotic and prebiotic technologies, and company evaluations are already underway.
Dr Freestone commented: 'We are delighted with the overwhelmingly positive response to Lab Enhancer™ amongst the probiotic and associated industries. I'm continuing to work closely with PBL in promoting the technology and have been excited in the high level of interest that we have generated in such a short space of time. Although lactic acid bacteria play a major role in the production of many products, including probiotic yoghurts, they can be quite difficult to grow and can particularly suffer damage during their processing for use as probiotics. One of the main values of LabEnhancer™ is that it helps lactic acid bacteria to recover from these stresses therefore making them much more effective as a probiotic'.