DUBLIN, IRELAND — Kerry has agreed to acquire Bio-K Plus International, a company based in Laval, Que., that offers probiotic fermented beverages and supplements in the North American market, Dublin-based Kerry announced Nov. 5. Bio-K Plus products have been shown to help maintain a healthy intestinal flora and support intestinal functions and the immune system, according to Bio-K Plus International.

“Research has shown that consumers are increasingly looking for nutritional benefits when purchasing food and drink and that products which contain probiotics that improve gut health are specifically in demand,” said Neil Cracknell, president of Kerry Applied Health & Nutrition. “Bio-K Plus further expands our portfolio of probiotics with the addition of three science-backed strains as we continue to help enhance the health and wellness of consumers across the globe by having a strong complement of published clinical trials confirming efficacy.”

Kerry already offers the immune health ingredient Wellmune and the probiotic Ganeden BC30 (Bacillus coagulans  GBI-30, 6086) for use in food and beverage products.

Bio-K Plus products, which are sold at retail outlets like pharmacies and grocery stores, are formulated with three proprietary and clinically validated strains of probiotics. The three strains in a patented formula are L. acidophilus CL1285, L. casei LBC80R and L. rhamnosus CLR2.  Bio-K Plus International, Inc., a family-owned biotech company founded in 1994, is located in the Laval Science and High Technology Park. The company has 134 employees and operates two facilities, one in Quebec and the other in California.