On September 13th, 2021, IPA collaborated with the organizers of the Probiotic and Prebiotic Congress in Rome Italy. This historical congress was celebrating its 20th anniversary which is held every two years at the Urbaniana University was a beautiful venue which allowed IPA the opportunity to present a full track day of programming.

Our engaging and significant content which touched upon all facets of the probiotic industry was relevant for all the probiotic stakeholders, including, scientists, academics, researchers, and industry.

In the morning, the IPA program featured updates from regulators from Canada, USA, Australia, and Argentina.

Mid morning, the work carried from our office in Brussels was featured. The European landscape continues to be challenging, but as we are witnessing an easing up of probiotic labelling practices in certain countries, we outlined approaches and responsible practices which can work from a legal perspective to bringing probiotics back into the conversation in Europe.



The IPA has a ‘Non-Governmental Observer’ status at the Codex Alimentarius and back in 2017 we introduced a proposal at the Codex committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses (CCNFSDU) FAO/WHO to harmonize probiotic regulations. IPA has been collaborating with Argentina and Malaysia on this work, and it was very characteristic to have the Codex Secretariat Tom Heilandt close out the morning sessions with a report on the overall Codex work and probiotics dossier as well.

IPA’s mission is to promote safe and efficacious use of probiotics worldwide. As the “Global Voice of Probiotics®” we do our outmost to provide a unique forum of exchange for research, science, and the latest breakthroughs in probiotic technology and new product development. Additionally, IPA works with government bodies and industry to assist in establishing regulatory and scientific standards for probiotic supplements and functional foods. Our outreach and education initiatives for healthcare professionals and consumers on the scientifically proven health benefits of probiotics, will reach new levels this coming year 2022.

For the afternoon session of our track day, IPA invited the Dean from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona, Gena Kadar. IPA is working very closely with the college, and we have created a probiotic course. It will be given within a 4-year Master of Science program at the university. This will be a two credits 24 hour course of probiotic education that will be imperative in communicating proper information to the future ambassadors of probiotics; I like to call it educating the educators.


This session was interactive as we had physical presence of attendees after 18 months of no events: a welcomed change. It also featured work by the IPA Scientific committee and their representatives are undertaking. Professor Bruno Pot presented the work he is leading for the case of daily intake of dietary microbes, and Sylvie Binda is revising the manuscript work on the gut microbiota resilience.

Throughout the Congress, other than probiotics and prebiotics, we also heard about the new terms and new definitions: postbiotics, paraprobiotics, psychobiotics, lysates, fragments, and many other terms with an extension of biotics. This was interesting because during our time in Rome we also had a closed workshop with IDF (International Dairy Federation) on these new terms, what they might mean for the future, and the result of a position paper to be published in the near future.

Personally, the future looks promising, but we still need to be able to navigate it in a way which makes sense. We need to make sure that products being commercialized are of quality and provide benefits to consumers. We also must think about how regulators will look at these products and what type of regulations will be imposed on them.


In the closing session I chaired a panel that had a cross section of everything we talked about during the day, from science, industry, education, and regulations. These topics all had common underlying threads for the probiotics industry, and as the Global Voice of the Probiotic® Industry we need to make sure the proper messaging is disseminated.

I believe the IPA track day presented an opportunity for the attendees to think about the future and hopefully as people left the room at the end of the day, we planted a seed for them to think about what is next for our industry.


IPA is an international not-for-profit organization with members coming from all segments of the probiotic sector, including but not limited to industry, academia, researchers, scientists, health care professionals, and end users. Our membership includes the majority of the world’s responsible manufacturers of live microorganisms and probiotics. IPA’s goal is to provide a unique forum for the exchange of research, science and the latest breakthroughs in probiotic technology and new product development. IPA’s mission is to promote the safe and efficacious use of probiotics worldwide. IPA also holds NGO status before Codex Alimentarius and is the “Global Voice of Probiotics”.