For a long time, probiotics were usually confined to fridges; however, nowadays, you can also find them on the shelf. Probiotics require specific temperature conditions to thrive and survive hence the need for special storage such as fridges; this makes one question whether shelf storage meets the ideal conditions. One may question whether the shelf provides the ideal condition for survival since these organisms are very delicate.
In the past, the only way to ensure they were within the required temperatures was to provide refrigeration at a constant temperature of about 4 to 80c. However, as technology changes, other means of preservation are constantly being invented, and nowadays, you can safely store probiotics on shelves. Therefore, you can use shelves and fridges for storage, and here are some guidelines for selecting an ideal option.
Factors to consider when selecting storage option
The ideal survival condition and probiotic temperatures are fundamental; suppose they are exposed to temperatures out of the recommended range, and their effectiveness declines. They must remain dormant at certain temperatures to experience their full effects and be protected from conditions such as warmth and humidity.
Cost and technologies
Technology has a significant role in storing microorganisms and samples. One of the technologies that have changed how labs can preserve probiotics is moisture protection technologies. The technology makes the shelf suitable for storage and an ideal option for storage beside refrigerators.
Other technologies, such as Activ-Vial Technology, make it easier to preserve the probiotics on shelves even in hot and humid regions such as Australia. The technology involves using an insulated desiccant-lined bottle that continuously absorbs moisture to ensure the bacteria stay alive longer even when the bottles are opened. Such technologies play a massive role in storing commonly used probiotics for gut health, which may be used frequently and carried to various places.
You can choose either shelf or refrigeration for storage; however, you will have to spend on the electrical bills that come with operating a fridge. Once you buy the bottles, you can reuse them; they do not require other resources. In the long run, fridge preservation is more expensive than the shelf option. The fridges can also be more expensive to purchase than the decant bottles. It is also much cheaper to buy bottles and create shelf space than buy a fridge.
Convenience and reliability
The difference between a fridge and shelf storage is convenience. On the shelves, you have an expansive room to store the bottles containing the probiotics, unlike in fridges where the space can be limited. The fridge is stationary, and you need to position them at certain places with charging outlets and where they are relatively safe.
With the shelf, you have a wide room to store the bottles, and the shelf also allows you to transport the bottles to the desired location. Therefore, the difference lies in portability. When using the probiotics, you can also transport or carry them home and store them in any shelf space. Fridges are stationary, and you cannot move with them. The shelf option will be ideal if you carry the probiotics around.
The climate condition will determine the suitable storage facility to use. When you live in areas with extreme temperatures, the decant bottles and shelf storage can help but only for a short while. In the long run, you will need some refrigeration for the probiotics. If you live in cold areas, shelf storage will be suitable, and you can also transport the specimens to different locations.
The type of probiotics
There are different types of probiotics; each requires a particular storage condition, hence determining the suitability of storage means. Some require refrigeration even in a cold climate; whenever they are out of refrigeration for a long time, they cease to be effective for experimentation. Some will survive in mild high temperatures hence shelf storage will be okay.
It is good to have both storages to select the most suitable ones based on the type of probiotic you are handling. If the probiotics need temperatures of about 250c, shelf storage can be a reasonable condition; however, when they need temperatures of about 2 to 80c you need the fridges for storage.
If you buy refrigerated probiotics, you need to store them in a cooler box or refrigerator while transporting them so that they do not die. The storage means will also determine how you transport them. Otherwise, the shelf options can be transported even in bags if you carry them in decant bottles. This is one of the advantages of shelf probiotics over refrigerated ones. This makes them easier to transport even on a medium such as shipping containers. Transportation matters because the products should arrive at your door as potent the same way they left the manufacturer’s location.
The anticipated results
The anticipated results quality will determine the storage method you need. Refrigerated probiotics are more viable than the shelf options. Despite the shelf probiotics becoming more advanced in recent years, refrigerated ones remain the best options.
Before you buy them, ensure you get an explanation from the manufacturers to avoid inconveniences. There are cases where people accidentally store fridge probiotics on a shelf because of limited explanations and knowledge. This results in bacterial death and ineffectiveness. The other possible cause of death is buying low-quality probiotics. Consider the manufacturer’s experience and reliability before purchasing the bacteria to avoid inconveniences.
When determining the ideal way to store the probiotics, you should consider the type of probiotics to ensure you use the proper storage. Other factors include the anticipated results, costs, convenience, reliability, and climatic condition. Also, pay attention to the manufacturer to ensure you get the right bacteria suitable for your storage options.
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