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Interview on Culterelle, a probiotic supplement from ConAgra Foods

Monday, July 18, 2005 by: Steve Diaz
Tags: Probiotics, Culterelle, nutritional supplements

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Steve Diaz: We're here with Kevin Cloonan of ConAgra Foods. ConAgra Foods makes a dietary probiotic supplement called Culturelle, which contains Lactobacillus GG. You have a new product here; can you tell us about it?

Cloonan: We've been producing Culturelle DS for the mass market for about seven years. It uses a gelatin capsule and has microcrystalline cellulose as filler. For the vegetarian market, we've now developed Culturelle HS, for which we use inulin, a chicory root extract, as filler. In the right quantity, inulin is a prebiotic (which supports the probiotic activity of the Lactobacillus GG).

Diaz: Does it need to be refrigerated?

Cloonan: No it doesn't, although you'll extend its shelf life and efficacy by refrigerating it. When we manufacture the product, we assume it's not going to be refrigerated. Each capsule is foil-foil sealed. Also when we manufacture the capsules, we load them [with filler]. All of the research on this product has been done on 1x1010, 10 billion CFUs* per capsule. We guarantee over 30 billion CFUs at the time of manufacture. We realize there will be a die off, but it's guaranteed to deliver the same quantity that we used through our studies until the end of the 'best used by' date.

Diaz: How can customers obtain this product?

Cloonan: Right now, we're talking to UNFI about carrying it. We have nobody carrying the Culturelle HS right now. We really are brand new to the vegetarian market.

Diaz: You're looking for distribution, then.

Cloonan: Yes, we are.

Diaz: What is unique about your product compared to the other probiotics on the market?

Cloonan: We're the only probiotic with Lactobacillus GG. This is a patented strain. Dr. Sherwood Gorbach and Dr. Barry Golden have isolated, patented and named it after themselves. It's the most researched strain. There have been more than 250 studies on this strain, of which about 90 have been human studies double blind placebo controlled and published in peer review journals. In fact, all the other probiotic strains combined don't have the amount of research that this one does. Here's an abstract of a selected number of studies. I think we have about 25 selected abstracts in here. I also have the complete bibliography of all 250 studies, which I'll share with you.

Diaz: Is there a website where people can go to get more information?

Cloonan: Yes, it's www.culturelle.com.

Diaz: Great. Thank you very much, Kevin.

Cloonan: Thank you. I appreciate you coming by.

* CFUs = colony forming units.

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