Third International Probiotics Association World Congress Shares Latest Probiotics Research and Findings

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Industry Experts From Around the Globe Educate Others Over Wide Range of Probiotic Topics

More than 160 participants from numerous countries, including academics, industry marketers and professionals, and regulatory experts from all over the world gathered at the Universal City Hilton from April 20-21 for the third International Probiotics Association (IPA) World Congress. The two-day event featured leading researchers in the area of probiotics, plus clinicians and regulatory experts.

“Our third installment of the International Probiotics Association (IPA) World Congress has been the most successful yet,” said George Paraskevakos, President of the International Probiotics Association. “The association strives to raise the bar when it comes to introducing the latest research and providing regulatory updates for the global probiotic community.”

The first day of the World Congress kicked off with a regulatory overview of probiotics in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Dr. Daniel Fabricant. It continued with a mix of marketing and research updates provided by Chris Schmidt from Euromonitor International; Dr. Sonia Michail, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Dr. Premysl Bercik, Assistant Professor, the Department of Medicine at McMaster University in Canada; and Dr. Sarkis Mazmanian, Assistant Professor, Division of Biology at California Institute of Technology. The second half of the day featured regulatory talks pertaining to probiotics from four countries: Dr. Luo Xue Yun, Professor at the National Institute of Nutrition and Food Safety (China); Dr. Hemant Koshia, High Commissioner of Food and Drugs Control Administration of Gujarat State (India); Dr. Susana Beatriz Fattori, Head of Special Analytical Methodology Service Legislation and Standardization Department, Ministry of Health (Argentina); and Scott Sawler, Director General, Natural Health Products Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch (Canada).

The second day featured additional research updates by Dr. Koen Venema, Senior Scientist of Gut Health, TNO, The Netherlands; Dr. David Mills, Professor, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of California - Davis; Dr. Nita Salzman, Associate Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Nutrition, at the Medical College of Wisconsin; Dr. Tom Van de Wiele, Associate Professor at Ghent University in Belgium; Dr. Masahira Hattori, Professor, Department of Computational Biology at the University of Tokyo in Japan; Dr. Elena Verdu, Assistant Professor, Division of Gastroenterology, the Department of Medicine at McMaster University in Canada; Dr. Philippe Langella, Research Director at Micalis Institute INRA in France; Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, Associate Professor at the Emory University School of Medicine; as well as an overview of the substantiation and legislation of probiotics by Dr. Ger Rijkers, Medical Immunologist at the University Medical Center in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Participants were able to view the many poster presentations during the two-day event and network through the various organized breakfasts, lunches, dinners and receptions.

“The exchanging of ideas and communication amongst such a diverse mix of individuals from regulatory, academia, industry and healthcare professionals from all over the world is a true testament to the organization’s goal of truly being ‘The Global Voice of Probiotics,’” said Ioannis Misopoulos, Director General of the International Probiotics Association.

As to where the next World Congress will be held in 2014? “I’m excited to say that the organization is considering a number of venues at this time and hopes to come to a decision later in the year,” said Ioannis.


The International Probiotics Association (IPA) World Congress is held biennially and features internationally recognized scientific and medical experts who present the latest findings on probiotic biotechnology, microbiome research and clinical benefits of probiotics, as well as regulatory bodies and experts from around the world. The International Probiotics Association (IPA) World Congress has been CME approved for healthcare professionals since 2008.


The International Probiotics Association (IPA) is an international organization with almost 70 members (as of April 2012) comprised of both industry and academia. Its goal is to provide a unique and global forum for the exchange of research and the latest breakthroughs in probiotic technology and product development. The International Probiotics Association also works with government bodies and industry to assist in establishing scientific standards for probiotic supplements, probiotic pharmaceutical products and functional foods. The International Probiotics Association educates consumers on the proven health benefits of probiotics for humans and animals by attending trade shows, health tours/walks and other media functions. The International Probiotics Association holds a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status with Codex Alimentarius.

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Erin Orsini
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