The future will be personalised

As part of my visit to ADM’s new plant for the production of probiotics and postbiotics, I heard more about the microbiome. Research in this area is ongoing, and from my learning yesterday, very vibrant. But, as Daniel Ramon Vidal, founder of ADM Biopolis, says: “We don’t have all the answers yet, but we know the microbiome is a component of multiple chronic diseases and an important contributor.”

The biotechnology company that offers research, development and production services to food sectors as well as others such as pharmaceutical, is pushing hard, looking into how changes in the microbiome may be implicated in the development, progression and treatment of multiple diseases. 

That we’re at this stage is testament to the realisation of the human microbiome gaining increasing traction with wellness-conscious consumers around the world. No longer is it viewed as being on the periphery of mainstream scientific research. The microbiome and its wider role in general health and wellness are now very much at the forefront of clinical research. From a commercial standpoint, awareness among consumers of the importance of ‘good’ gut bacteria and maintaining a healthy microbiome has exploded.

According to figures supplied by ADM, ​​market research estimates that the probiotic supplements retail market could surge to $10.4billion by 2027 from about $8.3 billion in 2022 (source: Euromonitor – Passport Data 2023). 

The latest clinical and consumer research in this field is opening up opportunities for not just the supplements market, but also rising demand for science-based probiotic formulas that are used in dietary supplements, and also dairy products, food, healthy snacks and beverages, as well as pet and animal well-being products.

The future of this sector looks very promising. With the advancement of genomic sequencing and data analytics (shown to us at ADM Bipolis) to understand microbiome–human interactions, it’s highly probable momentum will push it in the direction of artificial intelligence and targeted personalised diets. 

We could at some point try to change the microbiome with diet or prebiotics to improve chances of success with a treatment. But we’re not there yet. Our understanding of the microbiome, its complexities and its associations with health outcomes will increase and individuals will be able to use this evidence to live longer, healthier lives. Personalised nutrition could be positioned as a promising and effective clinical tool for promoting long-term health.

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