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Probiotics, prebiotics, health the focus of WSU symposium

PULLMAN, Wash. – Topics centering on the health benefits of probiotics and prebiotics are the focus of a free, public symposium to be offered at Washington State University Nov. 1-2.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for not only faculty and students at our local universities but also the Moscow-Pullman community,” said Denise Smith, director of the WSU and University of Idaho School of Food Science. “Internationally recognized experts will share the most recent advances on how the use of probiotics may improve health and how our lives can be enriched because of the research.”

Probiotics and health is a “hot button” topic in the health and wellness fields. Commercially available food products containing probiotic bacteria are created for today’s consumers who want foods that are not only nutritious but also health-promoting.

Sponsored by the WSU/UI School of Food Science, “Probiotics & Prebiotics: Promoting Better Health,” will begin with a welcome reception and introductory talks 4-6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in the Food Science and Human Nutrition Building, room 103. On Friday, Nov. 2, lectures will be 8 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Compton Union Building (CUB) junior ballroom east.

The symposium will cover genomics of probiotic organisms; chemical and biological properties of prebiotics; and novel synbiotics. Probiotics in select dairy foods and how they affect human health, including weight control, will be presented as well as the role of probiotics in animal health.

“We have some of the most respected professionals in the field coming to speak,” said WSU/UI professor of food science Boon Chew. “We hope attendees will benefit from the lectures on this timely and important topic.”

Featured speakers will be Todd R. Klaenhammer, North Carolina State University; David A. Mills, University of California-Davis; Robert W. Hutkins, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and Jean Soon Park, P&G Pet Care, Mason, Ohio. Several faculty members from the School of Food Science will speak on related topics.

More information about the symposium and the school is available at or by contacting event coordinator Boon Chew at 509-335-1427 or