The coffee blend is currently available in Nespresso machine-compatible capsules and instant freeze-dried powder.
Created by Queensland-based Coffee Roasters Australia, the blend consists of four heat-killed postbiotics, including Lacticaseibacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
It also consists of cell-bound exo-polysaccharides (C-EPS) lactobacillus plantarum, cells and media Lactobacillus paracasei, and Lactobacillus acidophilus.
Founded in 2002, Coffee Roasters Australia began as a distributor of coffee roasting machinery and equipment.
However, after the company changed hands in 2009, it started manufacturing coffee roasting machines and later contract manufacturing of coffee capsules, instant coffee powder and coffee bags. drip in 2012.
The postbiotic coffee has been sold through the company’s website since July, however, director Alana Beattie revealed to NutraIngredients-Asia that the products were first launched in 2019, but only pulled after four months – due to a misconception about the idea of postbiotic coffee.
Part of the skepticism stems from not knowing that postbiotics are heat-stable, she said.
“The products were launched this year. I launched it a few years ago, and it’s just a capsule product. But I stopped and reassessed the situation when I realized there was not enough supporting evidence for the product originally.
“I took it off the market and did the CSIRO-Griffith study and I’m relaunching the product this year.
“Postbiotic coffee was met with skepticism and I wasn’t getting over it well enough with the information I had. [back then]. I believe in this product so much that I don’t want to come out with the wrong message and be destroyed by lies.
“It was a very difficult decision at the time, but I felt that more supporting information was needed for the general public to understand the product,” said Beattie.
Some of the comments she received at the time were that probiotics should be stored in the refrigerator.
“They didn’t understand [postbiotics] and there wasn’t enough data… I wanted someone to take my product and analyze it for themselves, independently.
As a result, she approached the national research agency CSIRO which partnered with Griffith University to conduct an independent study of the effects of its barista blend on human cells.
According to Amanda Cox, a lecturer in immunology at Griffith University who was part of the research team, the team performed tests to study the postbiotic’s ability to activate human immune cells isolated in the laboratory.
“We found that response patterns to different postbiotics were generally similar between independent samples, suggesting that immune cells responded similarly to a specific postbiotic.
“We also found that the strength of responses varied between samples, which is consistent with how the strength of immune responses can vary between individuals,” said Cox.
Combining FMCG and health
Beattie, who worked at Nestlé as head of category development for food and national sales, as well as category development for pharmaceuticals at Pfizer, said her experience at those companies inspired her to create a cafe functional.
“I have a background in pharmaceuticals and FMCG. Before starting my own business, I worked at Nestlé and Pfizer respectively. I also had a great passion for pharmaceuticals and consumer products, and coffee in particular.
“The idea of being able to bring these two passions together was something important to me… These passions led me to look at the functional café space.
Apart from the postbiotic coffee, she has also created a collagen supplement containing the postbiotic under the Renew brand and a cognitive health supplement under the Inspire brand.
“Renew and Inspire were born because I wanted to have a product that had the benefits of postbiotics and other ingredients.”
The upcoming plan is to launch a drip coffee version of Barista Blend, as well as a hot chocolate postbiotic.
More than 100 tests
Beattie first came up with the idea of combining probiotics with coffee in 2017.
However, difficulties in keeping probiotics alive at high temperatures and finding the right delivery system led her to test over 100 formulations.
“I started putting probiotics in different oils and different ways to administer them to survive the heat.”
It wasn’t until Probiotics Australia introduced her to the postbiotic that her dream of creating a functional coffee came to fruition.
“During this time I was working with an Australian probiotic manufacturer to try to solve this problem or try to get a solution to what I was trying to achieve – which had the benefits of a probiotic in a hot coffee product.
“For years I had a lot of failures, and at that time technology was also changing in the area of probiotics. And at that point, we came together with what was called a post biotic. It is heat resistant and can still provide you with the functional benefits,”she says.