Many don’t understand probiotic storage

hand opening fridge door

Almost one in three Australians see themselves as health conscious, a new survey has found, spending an average of 15 hours a week on nutrition and exercise efforts.

The report, by Ethical Nutrients – which manufactures the probiotic Inner Health Plus – also found that while Australians are interested in probiotics, they do not know how to store and use them properly.

The report, Wellness Behaviours and Attitudes of Health-Conscious Australians, reveals:

  • 60 per cent prefer fresh over frozen or processed food;
  • 68 per cent make the majority of their meals from scratch;
  • almost half of the population (45%) regularly visit farmers’ markets, fruit stalls or health food stores to buy fresh produce;
  • almost 70 per cent of all Australians consumed at least one vitamin, mineral or supplement in the past six months;
  • 2.9 million Aussies have recently consumed a probiotic supplement to help to restore gut health balance;
  • 4 in 5 incorrectly believe bacteria count is an indicator of quality when it comes to probiotics; and
  • 3 in 5 consumers don’t understand the importance of storage when it comes to probiotics.


Integrative medicines expert Dr Kerryn Phelps says the findings show Australians need more education when it comes to probiotic purchase and storage, as well as strength and strains.

“When recommending a probiotic product, think fridge first,” she says. “Probiotic bacteria should be stored and purchased from the fridge to remain live, strong and effective. Heat and moisture can damage or kill bacteria, shortening their shelf life.

“In addition, many people incorrectly believe more is better when it comes to bacteria but actually, higher strength is not as important as researched strength, and ensuring strains are clinically trialled in combination or they may cancel each other out,” says Prof Phelps.

Pharmacies are the leading source of information on probiotics, with one in two probiotic consumers obtaining advice from a pharmacy and the majority speaking directly to a pharmacist.

One in three supermarket shoppers also say pharmacies are their main source of probiotic information.

Previous Victoria legalises medicinal cannabis
Next Smokers start young: research

NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Ben Wishaw

    If cold chain is so important for probiotics such as Inner Health Plus why do they arrive in my store in a warm cardboard box with a melted ice brick and all the stock at room temperature? An esky and more than a token icebrick would lend a lot more credibility to these claims of “fridge is best”. Especially in the eyes of the people providing consumers with advice about which probiotics are best.

    • Luke Newman

      I’m pretty sure their website says they last 4 months outside of the fridge at or below 25 degrees C.

      • Ben Wishaw

        Unfortunately they don’t talk about product stability if it is put back into the fridge. All you can surmise by their statement of 4 months at 25 degrees is that I now have brand new stock that has a 4 month shelf life.

        I was at a training session of their’s a few weeks ago where one of their technical officers said that it can be kept at 30 degrees for 4 days then refrigerated for up to 6 months. But that’s still not the 2 year expiry that is on their labels.

    • olga

      Excess heat can speed the loss of probiotic bacteria and reduce the number of live bacteria. Might as well throw the bottles in the bin if they are warm or get replacements from the company. If more pharmacies complained, the companies may lift their game.

Leave a reply