High Quality Probiotics
Since our products contain living microorganisms, good quality control yields high quality probiotics. Quality control ensures that the good bacteria inside your probiotic supplement arrive alive and arrive healthy enough to colonize your digestive tract.
But how do you know that a product contains high quality probiotics? How can you verify that the bacteria inside will be alive and effective after purchase? What can you do to make sure you’re buying a high quality probiotic supplement?
In this blog we’ll outline the manufacturing and packaging steps that Master Supplements takes to positively impact the future effectiveness of a probiotic supplement. In addition, we’ll explain why a good probiotic company should provide quality control analysis reports and data from independent laboratories to ensure the purity and potency of their supplements.
The Importance of Probiotic Packaging
Probiotic bacteria can survive and remain effective almost indefinitely when stored in a freezer and packaged correctly. Low-grade packaging leads to low-grade products.
Probiotics are living bacteria that you don’t want to stimulate or destroy prior to reaching their destination. Your gut. That's why we created Totally Inert Packaging (TIP).
TIP is our holistic approach to packaging probiotics for optimum survivability that starts on the packaging line at our production facility.
We take these steps because it's important to minimize exposure to environmental variables outside your digestive system. Because probiotic bacteria are living organisms, they have the same requirements for life as you or I. Without food and water, probiotics cannot grow.
Most probiotic bacteria have been freeze dried during production to keep them in metabolic stasis. As we introduce moisture and food, the once dehydrated probiotic bacteria wake up and begin reproducing or colonizing.
You want the probiotic gut bacteria to grow and colonize in your gut, not on the shelf.
Therefore, preventing the ingress of moisture and oxygen during storage is essential to ensure that your supplements remain potent through their expiration date.
High Quality Probiotics Packaging
After encapsulation, we pour our probiotic capsules into a glass bottle. We specifically use brown glass bottles for two reasons:
- They block UV light
- 2 They allow less external moisture contamination
Probiotic bacteria are as sensitive to UV radiation as we are. Amber glass bottles block more UV light than clear, green, or blue glass bottles.
Additionally, glass bottles have a lower moisture-vapor transmission rate. What this means is that water can more readily pass through a plastic packaging barrier and increase the relative humidity inside non-glass bottles.
After filling the bottles with probiotic capsules, we add moisture and oxygen desiccant packets. These absorb water and atmosphere to maximize the effect of our next step.
After adding the packets, we flush each bottle with pure nitrogen to ensure that the billions of bacteria inside each bottle remain stable and potent through expiration.
Lastly, we a double seal the mouth of each bottle with another set of moisture and oxygen barriers before screwing on a plastic cap to finish.
By creating the correct environment within the bottle and limiting their exposure, we fully guarantee that our supplements will remain stable and potent through expiration as long as they are stored properly.
We recommend refrigeration because it protects probiotics in two ways - darkness protects the them from UV light and refrigeration keeps the bacteria stable by limiting their metabolism. If you can’t refrigerate, find a cool, dark place and use within 2 months.
Broken down in a different way, we take a two-pronged approach to guaranteeing high quality probiotics from our warehouse all the way to your door. By focusing on the negative effects each environmental variable has on probiotics, we can guarantee potency through expiration.
The Negative Effects of Moisture on Probiotics
As freeze-dried organisms, rehydration initiates the earliest stages of growth for probiotic bacteria. Without water, bacteria cannot metabolize food. We need to introduce probiotic bacteria to water at some point but inside your refrigerator is not the time.
When water is present inside the packaging, even in minuscule quantities, it can prematurely jumpstart the growth of probiotic bacteria. This leads to your supplement losing potency long before it’s ever reached your gut.
Master Supplements takes extensive measures to keep our high quality probiotics dry including:
- Using glass to reduce moisture and vapor that can penetrate cheaper plastic bottles.
- Including moisture absorption packets inside the bottle.
- Including silica, a micro-nutrient, to reduce moisture.
- Using Rayon wadding instead of cotton to absorb excess water.
Preventing Oxidation of Probiotics
Some probiotics, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, need oxygen to grow. And some, like Bifidobacteria, do not. Either way, it is important to limit exposure to oxygen during manufacturing and storage because they’re present together. You have to protect one to protect the other. We do this by:
- Using a nitrogen flush to remove all excess oxygen prior to hermetically sealing the bottle.
- Including a desiccant packet for oxygen absorption.
- Using Vitamin C as a natural antioxidant.
How Heat Effects Probiotic Potency
While moisture and oxygen are the most detrimental to high quality probiotics, sustained exposure to heat can also negatively impact the overall health of probiotics.
Introducing heat to active bacteria stimulates their growth exponentially and they consume all the available food inside the capsule. Once probiotics have started growing inside the bottle due to improper manufacturing processes, they begin this exact process. They rehydrate, consume all the nutrients designed to sustain their growth in your gut, and die off long before you’ve taken them.
By taking the measures listed above, we greatly reduce the impact that heat plays on our probiotics.
To study the effects heat has on our products, we ran an experiment. We placed a bottle of Theralac in a 100 degree F temperature controlled environment for 14 days. At the end of the experiment, cfu counts in Theralac remained above the 30 billion CFU guarantee.
Because we go to such great lengths, exposing our bacteria to high temperatures for short periods of time doesn’t have the same impact as it might for other manufacturers that have less strict Quality Control processes.
Additionally, we counteract any potential loss of viability from improper storage with extra bacteria. We blend our probiotics with overage in probiotic counts to guarantee that we can deliver the full listed potency throughout the entire two-year shelf life. We have been posting online, third-party lab test results verifying potency online since 2003.
Certain probiotic strains are derived from soil and are spore forming strains, these are durable and stable cells that can show beneficial effects on humans. While minimizing their exposure to food, water, and heat matters, it’s not as important because they are sturdier organisms.
The leading probiotic genera of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are of human origin and need to be handled much more carefully.
The Importance of Refrigerated Storage and Fast Shipping
We keep our probiotic supplements frozen at -10°F at our Minnesota warehouse. Keeping them frozen up until the day they ship preserves viability and allows for temperature leniency during transit.
We ship via USPS from our warehouse in Minnesota. Our supplements are generally delivered anywhere in the United States within 3 business days.
Between our TIP packaging and our warehouse storage conditions, it is our conclusion that 2-3 days spent in transit isn't enough time to irreparably damage the probiotic organisms within our supplements. And we have independent, third party lab data to prove it.
As long as you refrigerate our supplements upon arrival, they will meet or exceed the guaranteed potency through expiration!
Speaking of labs...
Lab Tested Probiotics to Ensure Potency, Activity, and Purity
After packaging, we ship a portion of each lot for every product produced to an outside laboratory for independent verification of:
- Potency- to guarantee that the multi billion CFU we list on the bottle is inside every capsule.
- Activity- to prove the bacteria are alive and capable of growing healthy colonies.
- Purity- to make sure there are no pathogens or allergens present.
Master Supplements does additional testing in our own microbiology lab so we can monitor the ongoing stability and viability of our powerful products ourselves.
We believe in transparency, so we do something that no one else does, we post the third-party test results on our website for complete transparency! You can view this data at any time by visiting our Quality Control page and entering the lot number found near the UPC code on all of our product labels.
If you don’t have a bottle of one of our products nearby, you can check out the quality control data for our most recent batch of Theralac!
It’s in that same spirit of honesty that we provide individual strain designations (the little number following the strain name) and individual strain potencies for each probiotic strain we use.
Many probiotic companies use propriety blends that leave off the strain designation and lump all the potency together. If you don’t know the exact strain or the amount of any given strain, you really don’t know what you are putting into your body.
Master Supplements' belief in transparency, independent verification, and providing value by guaranteeing quality and results sets us apart from the competition.
Our goal is to provide you with the information you want and need so you can continue to make the best decisions for your gut health.