Tooth-friendly candy promise with novel probiotic, says BASF-backed study

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bacteria

Lactobacillus strain can improve oral health when added to sugar-free candies, claims BASF
Lactobacillus strain can improve oral health when added to sugar-free candies, claims BASF
A short-term pilot study claims that a lactic acid bacterium holds potential for use in sugar-free candies to reduce the risk of dental caries.

Research conducted by German R&D firm Organo Balance with support from BASF found that Lactobacillus paracasei DSMZ16671​ (LP) could be added to sugar-free candies to improve oral health. The findings were published in the journal Probiotics and Antimicrobial Proteins.

BASF, in collaboration with Organo Balance, is set to commercialize a PB bacteria under the brand name ‘pro-t-action’.

Study method

The randomized, double-blind, in vivo study by Holz et al.​ split 60 particpants into three groups.

Each group was instructed to consume either a placebo candy or one containing either 1 or 2 mg of PB per piece four times during one and a half consecutive days.

The researchers tested salvia samples from each participant and compared levels of mutans streptococci,​ a bacteria that causes dental caries, before and after the trial period.

The findings

They found mutans streptococci​ was significantly lower for the PB candy groups compared to participants’ levels before the study. Levels in the placebo were largely unchanged.

“We think it is remarkable that this effect was observed after exposure to only five pieces of candy containing 1 or 2 mg of dead Lactobacillus paracasei DSMZ16671 consumed in 1.5 days,”​ wrote the researchers.

The effect was witnessed despite the fact the PB bacteria was killed by heat.


The participants rated the PB candies as acceptable in interviews by the research team. The products were formulated with isomaltitol, maltitol, water, sucralose and mint oil.

Further trials are planned with larger populations. According to BASF’s website the company is also planning develop chewing gum containing pro-t-action. It says that pro-t-action is derived from natural origins.

Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot.​ (2013) 5:259–263
DOI 10.1007/s12602-013-9148-9
‘Lactobacillus paracasei DSMZ16671 Reduces Mutans Streptococci: A Short-Term Pilot Study’
Authors: Holz et al.

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