Probicient and Origgin Ventures, a specialist in early stage deep-tech start-ups and venture co-creation, in collaboration with Brewerkz, Singapore’s longest running craft brewery, has recently launched the world’s first probiotic beer.
With Brewerkz as the first brewing partner, more than S$1.5 million (US$1.1 million) was invested into the development of this probiotic’s beer from lab-to-table. This probiotic beer is now ready for commercial scale-up to commercial breweries and micro-breweries around the world.
Probiotification of alcoholic beverages is a major technological challenge. These beverages contain many intrinsic antimicrobial compounds such as ethanol, organic acids, and hops that impair the growth and survival of probiotics.
Through evidence-based research, Probicient’s technical team ensures the probiotics’ survivability while maintaining the traditional methods of beer brewing. Probicient’s IP lies in the technological breakthrough that ensures the probiotics’ survivability of 1 billion CFU, the minimum amount considered to be an effective probiotic, according to ISAPP (International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics). Probiotic dosage is expressed in CFU, or Colony Forming Units, which refers to the number of live probiotic microbes capable of forming colonies in a laboratory test.
According to ISAPP, probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Although other live microorganisms may be found in other traditionally fermented food such as kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi, those do not typically meet the empirical evidence level and only certain characterised strains with a scientifically validated health effect can be classified as probiotics. Probicient’s IP lies in its distinct pairing of unique strains and patented fermentation processes as the world’s first probiotic beer.
Probicient believes that the global shift in consumer patterns towards health and wellness trends from low-alcohol low-calorie beer to healthier alternatives will drive the global probiotic drinks market. As post-pandemic growth takes shape coupled with beer as the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, Probicient is poised to deliver consumers a uniquely different healthier beer experience, satisfying both their wellness needs through enhancing gut health and fulfilling their need to connect with others through social drinking.
A spin-off company from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Probicient is looking to bring this novel IP technology to both commercial breweries and microbreweries worldwide. “As a non-dairy probiotic drink, the probiotic beer would provide consumers with a healthier drinking experience without discernible compromise on the beer’s taste profile and be a good fit to the trend of functional beverages,” said Associate Professor Liu Shaoquan from the NUS Department of Food Science and Technology, and also Co-founder of Probicient.
To commemorate this milestone, Brewerkz has launched Red Billion, a probiotic raspberry sour beer – homage to the red hue and probiotics level of at least 1 billion CFU per serving, at all Brewerkz outlets from 1 March 2022.
Brewerkz will expand its range of probiotic beer flavours over time including canning and making them available for sale at major supermarkets and online channels.