Imagine a paleontologist digging up a fossil of a 250-million-year-old organism, perfectly preserved, that wakes up as fresh as it did millions of years ago when it went dormant. It sounds like a prologue to a dinosaur science fiction movie about bad ideas, but it is a completely real discovery of Bacillus spores in a salt crystal. Bacillus bacteria now hold the record for the oldest living creatures ever discovered, and they are in almost every ecosystem in the world – especially water and soil.
They come from a family on the taxonomic tree called Firmicutes, which means “strong skin” in Latin, and they hold true to their name in every sense. They have a tough Gram-positive outer cell wall, as well as their ability to form natural dormant endospores – the key to their multi-million-year hibernation. Endospores, also called spores, were studied extensively in the 1870s by Ferdinand Cohn, who discovered their ability to preserve their DNA when the environment is inhospitable. The spore form of Bacillus is part of what makes them great probiotics, since products with Bacillus spores can be on a shelf, or in a salt crystal, or in an ancient Egyptian tomb for years and not lose their ability to grow.
Bacillus spores keep on the shelf, but vegetative Bacillus do all the work. Activation is the bridge between them.
Bacillus are also fantastic probiotics because they’ve been in our natural microbiome from the very beginning. Thousands of years ago, humans were farming and gathering food from soil rich in Bacillus bacteria, and the ancestors to modern livestock were rooting, pecking, and eating grass from the same soil. Bacillus have always been involved in gut health, now ACTPRO™ Technology is able to bring the natural benefits of Bacillus back into human and animal microbiomes with activated probiotics. Our ACTPRO system combines a blend of Bacillus bacteria selected for their probiotic benefits, our patent-pending nutrient blend, and the conditions to make these sturdy spores become activated to provide direct benefits throughout the intestinal system.
The bacteria in the human gut, the microbiome, have been the focus of intense study over the past decade. We inherit our microbiome when we are born and it further develops in early childhood. Our gut community remains relatively stable over time; however, it can shift depending on age, location, diet, and stress levels.
There are trillions of bacterial cells in the human gut and they all work together in our system. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for digestion, metabolism, and immune system function. An imbalance of the microbiome, a condition known as dysbiosis, is linked to many gut conditions ranging from the occasional discomfort of irregularity to severe conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. Our gut bacteria have even been shown to impact drug absorption and effectiveness. Recently, a link between the gut microbiome and the brain has been established. Research into this so-called “gut-brain axis” has shown that gut dysbiosis can aggravate neurological conditions like depression and autism.
Probiotics have been shown to influence the microbiome to promote gut function and regularity by increasing the “good bacteria” in the system. There are many forms of probiotics on the market today including fermented beverages (like yogurt and kombucha), supplements, and snack foods. Bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are currently at the top of the probiotic market. While these bacteria are required for fermentation, they have no dormant state and are easily killed by stomach acid after consumption. As a consequence, these probiotics only provide passive, indirect benefits to the consumer.
NCH Life Sciences’ patent-pending ACTPRO™ probiotics contain Bacillus bacteria. Bacillus species have the unique ability to convert into a stable, dormant state called a spore. Spores are ideal for use in probiotics because they survive harsh conditions like the low pH of stomach acid. In order for spores to be beneficial as probiotics, however, they must first “wake up” out of their dormant state after they pass out of the stomach and into the intestine. ACTPRO technology is revolutionizing the probiotics industry by inducing the activation and growth of bacteria in the small intestine where most nutrient absorption occurs. Our probiotics are able to deliver unparalleled digestive and immune benefits to improve overall health. With ACTPRO, the future of probiotics is now! Want to know more? or contact us at LifeSciences@nch.com .
Aquaculture is both one of the oldest and youngest agricultural sources of protein in the world. There is evidence of aquaculture practices that date back around 6000 years. However, large scale intensive farming of aquaculture is a much more recent innovation. The FAO reports that in 2016, the total cultured production of all aquatic species exceeded the total marine catch, and aquaculture continues to grow by over 8% each year.
The top 5 producers in the world today are China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. By weight, finfish accounts for the largest percentage of production (67.6%), followed by mollusks (21.4%) and crustaceans (9.8%). This is a long way from 1950 where cultured species accounted for only a tiny fraction of harvested aquatic species. New and reliable sources of animal protein are essential for feeding an expected population of 9.7 billion people in 2050.
The biggest concerns facing aquaculture today are disease pressures and water quality issues. With high intensity culture, the risk of economic loss can be enormous. Biological diseases are present in the environment naturally, but aquatic species are more susceptible under high stress. Maintaining good water quality with low disease pressures is critical for preventing losses. Also, maintaining good water quality is important for mitigating environmental harm presented by hyper-eutrophication of downstream watersheds.
NCH Life Sciences ACTPRO™ technology utilizes a unique blend of Bacillus species combined with our patent pending ECOcharger™ 1000 activation systems to help our customers maintain good water quality and increase production potentials. Find out more about our aquaculture solutions here.
The global poultry industry is constantly changing and adapting to new challenges and requirements of their farms, including disease pressures, legislative requirements, and consumer demands. As antibiotic use is falling and cage-free production is rising, producers are trying to find products that are effective and safe for birds and consumers. Traditionally, probiotics have been added to chicken feed for daily delivery, but the results have been very inconsistent and show little direct benefit to the birds. NCH Life Sciences has removed this inconsistency in probiotic performance with our ACTPRO™ technology and our ECOcharger™ 1000 system to deliver billions of activated, effective bacteria directly into the drinking water every day at chicken farms.
ACTPRO technology uses Bacillus bacteria combined with our proprietary activation accelerant inside the ECOcharger 1000 unit and delivers the activated bacteria automatically into the drinking water to be consumed by the birds. Bacillus bacteria have the natural ability to pass through the stomach unaffected by pH and enzymatic activity, and the ACTPRO technology is the key to making our Bacillus probiotics activate immediately and begin growing when they reach the small intestine.
The ACTPRO technology is able to deliver significant and measurable benefits to the birds because of the growth of our probiotics throughout the entire gut. These direct benefits include protected villi and microvilli development, competitive exclusion, immune stimulation, and enzyme production for increased digestive efficiency. ACTPRO and ECOcharger are the only technology on the market that can impact the microbiome throughout all parts of the digestive tract.
To our customers, these benefits are manifested in overall improvements in production, including weight gain, survival, and feed conversion efficiency (see study below) - For more information, see our Resources page.
NCH Life Sciences, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCH Corporation.
|Weight Gain||FCR||Intestinal Lactobacillus population||Intestinal Salmonella Population|
|ECOcharger Treatment||2155.6||1.41||6.00 x 109||0|
|Control||1996.0||1.58||6.10 x 107||2.5 x 106|
|Difference:||8.00%||(10.76%)||98x more||No Salmonella detected|
NCH Life Sciences is the leader in active probiotic technologies. Probiotics are live microorganisms that confer health benefits when consumed. We achieve digestive and environmental balance in applications including aquaculture, plants, poultry, swine, and human health. We are committed to helping our customers increase digestive health through state-of-the-art solutions, patented technologies, and forward-thinking research and development.
Our mission is to develop probiotic solutions that produce measurable improvements in digestive health.
There are many forms of probiotics on the market today. A large majority of them use live, active bacteria such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. These bacteria have no dormant state and are usually freeze-dried and desiccated for shelf-stability. As a result, they are sick and are sensitive to stomach acid. Consequently, many of them die before reaching the intestines. The cells that do survive have difficulty recovering and studies have shown that they have very little effect during their passage through the gut.
NCH Life Sciences probiotics contain Bacillus bacteria. Bacillus species have the unique ability to convert into a stable, dormant state called a spore. Spores are ideal for use in probiotics because they are resistant to harsh conditions like temperature and pH extremes. However, in order for spore-based probiotics to have an effect, the spores must first germinate and become active in the digestive tract. That is where our patent-pending ACTPRO™ technology comes in. This technology increases the germination rate of spores to over 95% for unparalleled performance. Spores are protected through the stomach and germinate once they reach a more hospitable environment in the upper intestine.
The patent-pending ACTPRO™ technology in our ECOcharger™ 1000 unit is revolutionizing the probiotics industry. This fully automated system requires no hands-on time from the user and doses Bacillus probiotic strains that have been specifically selected for proven gastrointestinal development. Our liquid formulation ensures consistent dosing and eliminates settling and separation found in powdered probiotics.
Some of the benefits we have seen in chickens include increased egg production, Salmonella reduction, feed efficiency improvements, and mortality reduction. All of this results in increased profits for our customers.
NCH Life Sciences, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of NCH Corporation.
Contact us with any questions or to request Technical Information sheets on our products.
Let us help you to fortify your food products with our improved probiotic technology and stay competitive in the marketplace.