One definition that fits all probiotic food and food supplements:“Live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”: 20 years ago the world leading groups of experts FAO/WTO defined probiotics during the conference in Cordoba, Argentina.
Every part of the probiotic definition is important. In a joint activity, IPA Europe Scientific experts and the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) have identified 4 science-based criteria as a prerequisite to correctly qualify as a probiotic “microorganisms in foods and dietary supplements”: probiotics must have defined contents, appropriate viable count at end of shelf life, must be safe for their intended use and documented by suitable clinical evidence.
20 years later probiotics have come a long way but their evolution is far from over.
The wide adoption of these criteria by National and European authorities is necessary to identify probiotic category of products and to ensure the proper use of the word in scientific publications, on product labels, and in communications to regulators and the general public.
The IPAEU/ISAPP Paper published on “Frontiers in Microbiology” is available here: https://www.ipaeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/fmicb-11-01662.pdf